Sex and Relationships

Sexual Dysfunction

Answers to questions about sex therapy and sexuality

Copyright (C) 1998, 1999, 2000 William F. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

Welcome to ASK THE SEX DOC

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The Silicon Valley Relationship and Sexuality Center now offers a no cost group meeting at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, from February to October.  Attendance is limited and reservations are required.  Dr. Fitzgerald is coordinating this event and is handling the reservations; he may be reached on 408/450-8699 (24/7 voicemail).   The meeting is open to anyone 18 and older and will be held in Santa Clara, California.  There will be a presentation and an invitation to ask any question.

IF you live or work anywhere between Carmel and Marin County (San Francisco Bay area), please read this:   Most Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) periodically invite a speaker to their monthly meeting, and those to whom I have presented have expressed a lot of appreciation.  Sex is a welcome relief when it punctuates presentations about drug and alcohol rehab programs or violence in the workplace.  Plus, EAP folks know that employees who are experiencing relationship or sexual problems are less productive.   Thus, if you work in this area, please contact HR and ask them to consider a presentation by the sexdoc to your EAP.  And if you live in this area and are attending a class on Human Sexuality, or are a member of an organization such as Toast Masters, etc., please ask the professor or program chairperson if they would like a presentation by the sexdoc.

Media coverage (interviews) and bookstores interested in signings are always welcome.

Answer page #20

Link to the Home Page of ASK THE SEX DOC

What a fitting idea:  Start off the year 2000 with Answers Page #20

PLUS:  To help faster browsing for answers, I plan to put a topic line before the question.  Please let me know:  Does this help?  Would you, the readers, like it if I continued this?  Are there other things that would take me little time to do to make the site more readable?  Sexdoc

Click here to link to a New Woman's E-Zine!  Check out (where the sexdoc also answers questions).  On Whispers' home page, click on the "Romance" tab and page down until you find the sexdoc's title.  (MAKE SURE Y'all come back, now, ya hear?)

P.S.  I have just been notified that my "Ask The Sexdoc" column in the romance section received the highest number of readers in February (Whispers gave me an award).

Wants to be a virgin at marriage; are men not able to help themselves?
3/1/00 Q:  Dear Dr.

  I am a 16 year old female model and NOT sexually active.  I plan to not
have sex until I am married, mainly because that is what i feel is morally
right. I enjoy oral sex very much but, i have never given a man everything
(when i say man i mean a male my age!) in bed.  I feel that if i do that
they will try forcing sex on me.  Also the fact that I am a model excites
men because of my body proportions.  I have explained this to a male i was
seeing for a while, and he said not to let the thought of sex hold me back
because he understood that i didn't want it.  So i didn't hold back as much
in the bed room and i literally had to place my hand in front of my vagina
in order to not have intercourse with him because he could not help himself.
  He in no way was forcing it on me.  but i would just like to know, should
i be holding back in the bedroom because I am scared that men will not be
able to help themselves?  Or am I just very arrogant and have nothing to
worry about.

  holding back

A:  Dear "Holding"

You have not only the right, but the responsibility and the accountability for your decision, to decide when to become sexually active, and to what extent.  If you wait until you are married, you run the risk that you and your husband will be sexually incompatible but that is the trade off for remaining a virgin.

Men CAN control themselves but often claim that they can't as a way of avoiding responsibility for their actions.  Any man who promises not to enter your vagina with his penis, then who does so "in the heat of passion" is lying to you and to himself.

You are never arrogant if you are truthful.  If you indicate that you have decided to be a virgin at marriage, then insist that you not be entered, that is consistent.  If you imply that you might have intercourse, then invoke your sought-after status as a model as the reason you will not spread your legs for such an unworthy male, you invite physical violence.

What you have to worry about is a boorish selfish guy who thinks you're kidding about your virginity and who insists that just getting into bed and "letting him" give you oral sex is tantamount to agreeing to intercourse.  I suggest making sure that he clearly understands the rules before either of you takes any clothes off.  Anything less is inviting trouble.

Finally, please keep an open mind about sexual experimentation.  When you are older and wiser, but not yet married, you might find it extremely valuable to determine both your sexual preferences and those of a prospective husband.

Boyfriend confided that he had sex with a horse
2/22/00  Q:  Dear Sex Doc,
Recently my boyfriend confided in my that when he was younger he had sex with a horse! He said at the time he was a virgin and wanted to know what it "felt" like. When he confided in me, I didnt know how to react. I felt disgusted and couldn't look him in the eye. How should I handle this situation? Should I put it past me, or talk about it with him? This IS a serious letter, I am not joking! I almost wish he hadnt of told me, because this is making me extremely uncomfortable in our relationship now. Please give me some helpful advice! Thanks.

A:  My first encouragement is for you to congratulate yourself for making him feel so safe confiding in you that he did so.  Sex with animals is much more common than the average member of the public thinks.  In the safety of sex therapy, people, who have no vested interest to lie or entertain, describe "contact" with animals that I will not detail because many people find the idea seriously distressing.  Also, people experiment with members of their same sex, and all kinds of objects.  It's literally immature sexual exploration, and is the antitheses of rigidity.  I suggest that your discomfort comes from within you, and that if you think of it as an expression of his ability to be intimate and totally honest with you, that you might be able to see it in a more positive light.


Is he a hiccup fetishist?
2/16/00 Q:  Dear DR Fitz:
I just tonight found your site, and wondered if you could answer my question.
I have been dating a man of 45, for about 9 months. I am 51, and I get along
very well with him and care for him a great deal. When we are making love, he
likes me to hiccup for him, and certainly it is a turn on to watch him so
happy and turned on, when I do.
I have noticed lots of hiccup related items on his computer; files, searches,
etc., mostly related to women with hiccups! Now I am wondering whether this
is a simple fetish or an obsession.
Once during lovemaking, I didn't hiccup for him to see if he was still
interested in making love. Although he was a bit disappointed, he still made
love to me.
Should I be worried about this? I have never known a man with a fetish before.
Thank you for your time,

A: You're on the right track.

If it is an enhancement, he will continue your relationship.  If it is a serious fetish (making your hiccups a requirement) or an obsession, if you stop hiccuping he will call and/or make love less and less often, in which case you would be justified if you felt depersonalized and just a "hiccup conduit."


Girlfriend stopped having sex after 2 years -- what to do?
2/16/00 Q:  Me and my girlfriend have been together for about two and a half years.  We
waited about 5 months into thet relationship before we had sex.  It was the
first time for the both of us.  Up until about two months ago our sex life
was great.  We would have sex around 4 or 5 times a week.  She would achieve
orgasm during intercourse and so would I.  Everything seemed perfect.  Around
2 months ago she just stopped wanting to have sex and or foreplay.  Sometimes
she would say she was tired, and other times she would come out and say no, I
don't really want to.  I basically was getting turned down by my own
girlfriend.  I have confronted her about this problem because I wanted to
know if i could do something about it.  It was a drastic change in our sex
life.  All she said to me was " I don't know whats wrong with me, I just
don't want to".  I don't understand what this is supposed to mean.  I love
her dearly and she says she loves me, what should I do about this?

A:  The most you can do is stand by her in her time of confusion and be patient, not putting any pressure on her.

If, after a while, she remembers how good it felt to be connected to you through sexuality, and she signals that she wishes to resume sexual intimacy, you will revert to what you want.

But if she persists in wishing not to be sexual with you, when you run out of patience, wish her a happy life, accept it as a learning experience, and find a lover with whom you are more compatible.

If someone has told her that you are with her only for the sex and you leave soon, that will confirm her fear that that is true.  If you give it enough time and you let her know that you consider sexual intimacy to be an important part of a relationship, she then will be informed explicitly of your criteria.  I know you will ask how long is enough, and that is difficult to quantify.  Because this has gone on for 2 months, I suggest that "notice" of another month would probably be sufficient.

It is also possible that she is testing limits with the world, and you are but another actor on her stage.  If so, your termination of the relationship will give her material proof of the consequences of her actions.

If you appreciate this advice, please keep track of my e-mail address and send me two follow-ups:  what she says when you "give her another month," and what happens when the month (if that is the time frame you adopt) is up.


Sexual Desire Discrepancy Protocol
2/11/00 Q:  What can a couple do if one wants to make love more often than the other?

A:   In most relationships one is taller, one weighs more, and one wants to be sexual more often than the other.  In the last case, the protocol, which MOST couples are not able to implement without therapeutic disinhibition, is for the initiator to indicate the desire for sexual behavior.  The respondent then has three choices.

1)  AGREEMENT:  Sounds great – let’s do that now (or later);

2)  NEGOTIATION:  I really don’t feel like … being penetrated … penetrating … doing oral sex … etc., but I will …(she says) put some slippery stuff between my thighs and we can lie on our sides and you can thrust your penis between my clenched thighs (and I will fondle the tip of your penis with my fingers and catch the ejaculate with a tissue so it doesn’t wet the bed) … (he says) bring you to orgasm with my fingers, wrist bone, etc. … (she says) lie on my stomach, you can put slippery stuff in the crevice of my buttocks and on your penis, and you can slide up and down with your penis channeling in that crevice, and then, of course, being a gentleman, after your ejaculate pools in the small of my back, you will mop it up with a tissue … (he says) lie on my back with my legs spread and you can straddle a thigh and by rotating your pelvis and moving in a way that is exciting for you, achieve orgasm … ETC. ETC. ETC.;

3)  NON-PARTICIPATION:  I am sorry, but I am way behind schedule and any time I spend with you will mean less sleep (whatever).  Because it will detract from your pleasure knowing that I resent participating, please retire to the bedroom, bathroom, etc., and take care of yourself (masturbate); we’ll both know what you’re doing, and it’s OK with me, and I’ll hold your calls.

NOTE:  If options 2 and/or 3 are invoked "too frequently" (in the eye of the initiator) , you need to deal with that (therapy).

Gay Fantasies
2/11/00 Q:

I'm a twentysomething male and have had varied and satisfying sexual
experiences with women since my late teens. I have had a couple of
significant relationships in these years and quite a few flings with no
'performance issues' in the sheets.

My problem is, over the last three or four years I've dipped into internet
porn, and increasingly, gay porn for sexual kicks. I acknowledge I have
some guilt/anxiety that I might be gay but really don't think I am. I have
never been with a man or felt (emotionally or physically) for a man the
way I feel for women but I find watching gay sex as much, sometimes more,
a turn-on as hetero. The 'idea' of having gay sex appeals erotically but
I've never felt the urge to give a guy the once over, whereas, for better
or worse, women continue to stir the loins.

The 'sessions' are fairly infrequent and I don't feel compulsive about the
behaviour except that their frequency increases when I'm stressed. Maybe
it's the distracting challenge of finding something new to whack off to?
Most sites are subscription based but can be accessed for free with
'hacked' passwords which in some bizarre way adds to the thrill.

I don't know whether this behaviour is a cause, a symptom or both? How do
I put this in perspective or, better yet, give it up and put my head and
hands to better use? I feel even worse about things when I'm in a

A:  This is more common than your message suggests that you know.

Some women fantasize being fucked by a dog or gorilla or donkey or by the whole football team, but that doesn't mean they would really respond erotically if they did that.

Homosexual sexual contact is a thrilling "forbidden fruit" and the added element of doing something "naughty" (at least frowned on my many in society) is like sex near a walking trail or fondling your date's clitoris with your toes in a fancy restaurant.  These all promote adrenaline which turbo charges sex (so long as it isn't too much).

AND I have had many, many patients act on their fantasy to be profoundly disappointed AND to have the fantasy no longer be eroticizing.

On the other hand, you might be uninhibited and so secure in your sexuality that sex with a man might be fun.


Can males have multiple orgasms?  AND:  There are plenty of couples whose first initials are the same as these, and I just couldn't resist the temptation.
2/9/00 Q:  Hello,
My boyfriend have an on going debate on 2 things: can men have multiple
orgasims? and can men orgasim with out cumming and if they can how many can
they have before finally cumming?  If it is physically possible to do these
things, how can i make boyfriend do it?!  I think we would have fun and i
dont have any money for Valentine's Day so that would be a good gift.  Hope
to hear from you soon!
S and M

A:  Signed S and M?  I take it that's not S&M (sado-masochism).

 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.  Others stimulate their clitoris DURING intercourse.

When men have an orgasm, the pelvic muscle contractions squeeze against the storage tanks and mechanically and hydraulically force semen out.  Then the guy needs a refractory period, which can be brief -- a few minutes -- before another orgasm is possible.

I have known men to have seven orgasms with one erection, but neurophysiologically in my book that is seven orgasms, not one orgasm with multiple contraction sets.

"Orgasm without cumming" is a contradiction.  Some men have an orgasm and "cum" into their bladder -- called retrograde ejaculation, but even though the semen doesn't appear at the tip of the penis doesn't mean that those storage tanks weren't compressed.

Try keeping his penis inside your vagina after he has an orgasm, and a few minutes later try motion to see if that gets him erect.  DANGER:  If using condoms, his detumescence can cause the condom to slip off inside you!

Boyfriend complains that vagina is "loose."
2/8/00 Q:  My wonderful boyfriend and I have been very sexually active for 7 months
now.  We have sex, on average, four times a week.  Recently, he said that
I have not been as "tight" as usual.  He further explained that although
the muscles at the entrance of my vagina are still very tight, and
although when I orgasm my muscles create a nice "stroke", the muscles
farther inside my vagina are much looser (and therefore, though he would
never say it explitictly, sex is less pleasurable for him).
Why does this happen?  Is there any way to remedy the situation?
Exercises, etc.? (I understand Kegels would only help the muscles
surroungding the entrance)
Thanks in advance for your help!

A:  I am speculating that he has only modest sexual experience as far as number of women with whom he has had intercourse goes.

Kegels are the best exercise.  They tone the pubococcygeus muscle which is big in your pelvis, and there is nothing more you can do.  I suspect that he is "getting used to" the sensations and is only able to describe it as you being "big in there."

Actually, when you get sexually excited, your vagina "tents" -- that is, there is a normal healthy pelvic muscle shift that opens you up like a balloon being inflated so you CAN accept an erect penis.

Tell him that your internal cavern size is a measure of how much he turns you on, and that when he has intercourse with a woman who feels tight inside, that is PROOF that either she is not excited enough or that her pelvic muscles are out of tone.

Hey, this is such a good answer I'm going to put it on the web page (#20)!


Another couple chasing the elusive myth of both having an orgasm during intercourse
2/7/00 Q:  Hi Doc,my spouse and i are still tying for the  ultimate goal;both
achieving an orgasm through intercourse.So far i'm the only one
suceeding.I can give her oral sex and she'll have one or with a vibrator
she'll reach an orgasm.Why can't i do it for her?This kinda leads me
into another question.My penis is seven inches and a bit,which is ok,but
the circumferance is only about two inches.I find that we both have
difficulty feeling each other.Is there a way to increase the thickness
of a penis safely.Maybe if it were a little thicker she would feel
more.I just don't know.We do have a dildo thats about 10 inches long and
at least 4 inches in diameter and she can take the whole thing no
problem.If you can help me i'd be forever grateful.

Thank You

p.s.Love your web site,very informative and educational.

A:  Only about 40% of women achieve orgasm from penile thrusting alone.  Others have one never, before, after, or during only with additional clitoral stimulation.

Try it doggy style with her stimulating her clitoris while you thrust.

Try oral sex until she's about to come then penetrate vigorously with your penis.

Try anal sex to see if you can get to her g-spot through the tissue separating the rectum from the vagina.  Plus, If you try anal sex and you two STILL can't feel each other I want to know immediately.

I suggest that you abandon the "both during intercourse" goal and PLAY!  If you're not trying to get pregnant, why even CARE when you each have an orgasm -- intra-vaginal or not?

I hope you "mis-spoke" yourself -- your penis is 2 inches in circumference and the dildo is 4 inches in diameter?   Please clarify.

AND:  There is no safe way to increase the length or girth of a penis!!!!!!! (Except cheating by wearing a penis sheath, but that chafes at many a woman's labia.


Early sexual behavior now showing up like the effects of sexual abuse
2/7/00 Q:  I am 22 years old and have been with my boyfriend for over 4 years now.  We
have not had a "normal" sex life for about 2 1/2 years.  Before him, I
slept with 12 people over a period of 5 years - my first time was when I
was just 13 years old.  I felt a combination of pressure and curiousity
lead me to have sex for that first time - the boy broke up with me just 4
days later.  Ironically, the next boyfriend I had did the same thing...
After that, I had sex with people who I was generally in a relationship
with, although I did have a couple of one night stands.  I don't like to
think of myself as the type of person who sleeps around, especially now
that I am in a devoted and loving relationship.  The truth is, I have never
enjoyed sex and I have never had an orgasm.  Not even with the one I love,
my boyfriend now.  He and I had sex almost everyday for the first year,
after which it slowly dwindled away.  The sex was the same - it really
didn't do much for me!  Before our first time, we waited for 5 months - we
both wanted it to be perfect.  It was his first time ever!  It is very
rarely that I even want to try to have sex now - it takes an enormous
amount of four-play to turn me on.  Not only that, but it seems like the
only time I actually want to have sex is after a sexual dream or reading a
sexual book, etc.  We are lucky if we have sexual contact once every two
months.  When we do, I end up feeling dirty!  If I manage to get turned on,
I lose it after about 2 minutes.  Afterwards, I usually feel like such a
failure I end up in tears!  I want to please him (and me!), and I feel
worthless when I can't have sex with him.  Thank god my partner is patient
- I know what true love is (if he's willing to stay with me after all of
this...).  I really want to enjoy sex - I love how close I feel to my
boyfriend for those first two minutes!  I am very honest with him - I have
told him that I don't like sex.  He has never asked about how many people
I've slept with, but he does know some of my history.  I have no idea what
a normal sex life is, but I would really like to have one.  If anything, I
would like to ba able to get turned on and have sex without feeling dirty -
even if I don't orgasm!  Please help me - I have no idea how to fix this!

A:  I hate to tell you this but your problem was probably caused by starting to be sexual at such a young age.  I suspect that you were over-stimulated in the global emotional sense, and that it was related to abuse -- you didn't have the coping mechanisms to deal with such intense physical and emotional events.

I have seen women presenting with what you describe and the face to face, rather extensive (10-40 months) therapy is effective, and the nature of the therapy is similar to what is effective for women who were sexually abused repeatedly in early teenage years.

Having said that, I hope you appreciate that it is impossible for me to suggest a self-help protocol -- by e-mail or any other medium.

Get into therapy as soon as possible.


Orgasm from intercourse but urinary incontinence from clitoral stimulation
2/4/00 Q:  I have read your FAQ's, but I do not think that my question was answered, so
forgive me if I have overlooked it. I am 25 years old and have been with only
three men. I grew up thinking that sex was dirty, so when I had it I was
embarrassed. Only with my most recent man, for three years, have I been able
to orgasm. It is amazing! I can only orgasm in that way through intercourse.
When he stimulates my clitoris, usually with his hand, I get a very intense
feeling. I feel like I am losing control. My whole body shakes. Then I pee
and relax. I feel let down. I have tried to relax, but that intense pleasure,
almost pain, is too much. He does not mind when I pee, but I do. It is messy,
but more importantly, I want to know what it would feel like to come. That is
what I imagine is going to happen if I can stop peeing! I have tried to go
before we have sex, but I still do the same thing. After I pee, it hurts for
him to touch my clitoris again. It is too sensitive!
    Do you know why I do this, and are there any suggestions you can give me?
Even if I continue to pee I still want to know what comes after that! My
partner and I have a very good and open sex life. I can talk to him about
anything and I know that he would be eager to help me. Thank you for your

A:  This is curious because orgasm is orgasm, whether penis stimulated or hand stimulated.  The first step is to be absolutely sure you are experiencing orgasm.  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.  Others stimulate their clitoris DURING intercourse.

I suggest bringing yourself to orgasm to see if you pee.  Plus, I wonder whether this is not urine, but female ejaculate.  Some women's brains confuse the nerve signals and do, indeed have urination and orgasm contractions combined; the orgasm "signal" also relaxes the urinary sphincters (and to be complete, but at the risk of grossing readers out, some men, and some women, also lose bowel control on orgasm).  Please experiment with your hand, his hand, and intercourse.  Confirm that all three produce orgasms, and let me know if only his hand produces urine flow.


Harmful effects of oral and/or anal sex
2/4/00 Q:  my wife insists on eating my sperm and getting her ass fucked, which i
dont like. please tell me are they harmful for health? can eating sperm
cause infections? and can ass fucking cause any problems. S

A:  Dear S,

This is a first!  I get LOTS of e-mails from guys who ask how to get their woman to swallow or to agree to anal intercourse, and from women who ask why a guy would insist that they swallow, and whether their lover's request for anal intercourse "really means" that he's gay or at least bi and really wants to fuck a man's ass.

Yes, giving oral sex can transmit infections if the receiver has a virus or a bacterial infection, but the chances are slim.  An enzyme in saliva is viricidal, and stomach acids are overkill for sperm and viruses.  The giver would have to have an open cut or bad gingivitis with bleeding gums for a virus to opportunistically enter.

Anal sex is absolutely prized by some women and my take is that it is a combination of the additional neurological stimulation from the anus, which contains almost as many nerves as the clitoris or the tip of the penis, and the tightness of the anal sphincters aiming the tip of the penis so it presses the tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina against her g-spot.  The problems with anal sex are 1) discomfort if she is not dilated slowly and gradually; 2) tiny tears in the anal tissue if there is insufficient lubrication or the penis is to big in diameter; and 3) transmission of disease even if there are no tissue tears.  A possible fourth is pregnancy if some of the semen dribbles out of her rectum and somehow gets transported into her vagina.  I would be professionally remiss if I did not also add the standard caveat:  NEVER EVER put anything into the vagina that was on the anus or in the rectum without disinfecting it first.  Normal flora and fauna that flourish in the rectum are seriously dangerous for the vagina.

Any questions?


Married man masturbates
2/2/00 Q:  I have been married for four years and I recently caught my husband
ejaculating in the shower. How normal is it for him to do this? How
often do men ejaculate on thier own. I know this may be a stupid
question but I feel so horrible since this happened. Please respond.
Thank you for your time.

A:  This is not a "stupid question" and it comes up in sex therapy frequently. Please, please, please do NOT feel horrible!  In order for him to have ejaculated in the shower I presume he must have been masturbating.  It is EXTREMELY common for men of all ages post puberty to masturbate whether they are in a committed relationship or not.  For some it's once a month while their wife is menstruating (some guys freak at the sight of blood on their penis -- Freud would invoke "castration anxiety").  For others it's several times a day whenever they feel like it and have time and privacy.  It is not a question of "normal" which implies the possibility of "abnormal" or "subnormal."  I speculate that your horror derives from the religious message that a man shouldn't "spill seed" or that the ONLY purpose of sex is to make babies.  In addition to the intimate, affectionate, and relational aspects of sex with a loved one, there are also purely physiological aspects.  Feeling sexual pleasure in general, and orgasm in particular, causes the release of chemicals called endorphins which are somewhat anesthetic and which increase white blood count, thus boosting the immune system.  Got the flu?  Have as many orgasms as you can and laugh as much as possible (laughter also releases endorphins).

Some married men (and women) masturbate because their spouse's interest in sex is less frequent than theirs, and rather than putting pressure on the spouse, they take care of the need themselves.  For others, it is simply a different sexual activity -- some men, and some women, have all the sex they want with their spouse, and masturbate when they wish just because it feels good.  See the Q/A below.  President Clinton might think that oral sex isn't "real" sex, but some people feel incredibly more intimate with their partner while being pleasured to orgasm by their partner.
Instead of this being his "secret," how about if you ask him if you can join him in the shower and either watch or encourage him to soap you up and hump the crevice of your buttocks?  Get his thigh soapy and see if you can bring yourself to orgasm by rubbing your clitoris against it.  That's what I call "real, clean fun."  Get playful, inventive, and use variety to keep your sex life exciting!  Please let me know what you think.  Other readers have comments?


Woman laughs or makes lover stop when he touches her clitoris with his fingers.  Sexdoc encourages all to masturbate themselves and their partner (and e-mail him).
2/1/00 Q:  Dr:

I have recently become involved in a relationship with a wonderful man.  I am
30 years old, he is 34.  We have been dating for 4 months, and I enjoy being
with him.  We have great sex, and I have no trouble achieving orgasm during
intercourse.  In fact, I often experience multiple orgasms prior to his
first.  Our bed actually becomes soaked as a result of my pleasure.  He is
the only man that has done this for me.  Prior to our relationship, I had
never had an orgasm.  I have been divorced for a year and had never had sex
with anyone but my husband, who was a terrible lover.  He was only interested
in himself which made for a lonely existence.  My new relationship is so
unique to me, sometimes I don't quite know how to act.  My lover is so
attentive and is constantly asking me how he can further please me.  As I
said, during intercourse I feel so special and most always have an orgasm(s).
 The problem is that when he is stimulating me with his hand, although it
feels great, I tend to laugh or stop him.  He is bothered by this, and I
can't blame him.  Why if I feel so good do I do this?  Until recently, I had
never masturbated fully to an orgasm.  As a young girl I did touch myself,
but I never reached orgasm.  He said that it might help me if I tried to
accomplish this, he even offered to watch while I did this.  He said he would
talk to me, and that I should concentrate on how I touch myself.  He wants me
to be able to explain how I like it, and what he can do to help me orgasm.  I
feel somewhat embarrassed by this.  Is this normal?  Why do I stop the
pleasure?  Why is this so different from intercourse?  I would hate for this
to be a barrier between us, and would like to please him in every way
possible.  Do you have any suggestions that I could try?  Please help.

Thank You,  M

A:  I agree with him completely.  Masturbating while he watches intently would be very valuable for both of you.

Around the time your sexual hormones kick in enough for you to experience orgasm, you are still very impressionable, mentally and emotionally -- which is one of the factors that accounts for the damage done by sexual abuse.  I consider threats that you will grow hair on the palm of your hand, go blind, etc., if you masturbate to be at least emotional abuse and for some, down right sexual abuse because of the dysfunction it causes.  I suspect that you laugh or stop him to reduce the anxiety you feel about being "diddled" (old English term for manual stimulation of the clitoris by someone else).  Many adults, when I ask them about their masturbatory behavior, retort "Do you mean do I play with myself!?"  The association of masturbation with immaturity is crippling.  Embarrassment is common when you are observed masturbating, because as a teenager, for most people, it was seriously furtive and you sure as hell didn't want ANYBODY to know, not parents, not siblings, and even not your doctor.  So being able to masturbate to orgasm in front of your lover is powerfully bonding, intimate, and trusting.  Have him masturbate to orgasm while you watch, as well.  The observer is encouraged to make mental notes so that on a future event, your lover can masturbate you to orgasm while you are totally passive or are giving verbal feedback.

This is liberating for many people, and I encourage all readers to do this (both masturbating yourself and masturbating your partner) periodically.

If you appreciate this advice, please e-mail an update with your behavior and reactions -- all readers are invited to submit write-ups on this.


2/2/00 She replies:  Dr. Fitzgerald,

I want to thank you for the quick reply to my question, it is greatly
appreciated.  I will share your advice with my lover.  I'm sure he will be
willing to comply with the advice, and I will forward the news of how our
relationship is affected.  More specifically, how I am able to deal with the
advice.  Overcoming the embarrassment issue may not happen immediately, but I
will work at that.  I was excited to read that I have options, and that I'm
not abnormal.  Once again, thank you so much for your help.

New lover thinks she wasn't "good enough"
1/.31/00 Q:  Hi, I'm glad that I can ask you this question. I've been seeing this woman from work for about three weeks now. We have been getting along really well But, thats not the problem. One friday night after work we went to the bar and then a after bar party where we drank alot more. When we finally let the party we went back my place. Both very much drunk we started making out which turned into sex. The problem came with it was time to finish but  I couldn't. Now she thinks there is something wrong with her because she couldn't get me off. She said that it was the first time that has happened to her. It was the first time that it has happened to me also. Could it have been the alcohol that caused me to get off or is it due to the amout of masterbating that I do? I masterbate anywhere for two to five times a week and sometimes more. Is that causing my problem? Please respond with an answer.

A:  Dear Confused,

The combination of alcohol, being tired, and the low level of nervousness that comes with being with a new partner could EASILY have caused no orgasm.

Tell her that to prove it wasn't her that she has to sacrifice her body to science and count the number of times out of the next ten sexual events with you that you don't come.

The good experiment requires oral sex, anal sex (if she's willing) and a hand job.

Make sure you are not tired or have had too much to drink....

enjoy (and please send test results)


A brief comment on husband on chat rooms, etc.
1/31/00 Q:  Hi
  I have been having a problem dealing with my husbands porno attractions.
He is always looking at nude pictures and having chats on line but when it
comes down to having sex with me he just isn't in the mood.  He calls me a
nempho but I don't understand this. we only make love once a week. he is
the one that is looking at the pictures, chatting and watches videos on a
daily basis but when it comes down to doing the real thing he much rather
pass. I've asked him if he already jacked off and he says no .I've asked
him if I still turn him on and he tells me yes and that I'm the only one
that he wants to have sex with and that he only watches videos , and looks
at nude pictures and chat just to pass time. He says that he just isn't
tired when he gets home and just wants to relax and this is how he does
it.I have told him that he could wake me to relax since I don't work but
he says that he don't want to bother my sleep. I just don't understand why
having sexual conversation on the computer and looking at nude pictures on
the net can relax a man and not put him in the mood to actually have sex
but once aweek with his wife. I tell him that he makes me feel that I'm
not doing the right stuff to turn him on but he denies it and says that he
is happy.  is there something that I can do to get him to want me over the
fake stuff.  Thanks any help will be appreciated.  D

A:  Dear D,

This is unfortunately common.  What women have a hard time understanding is that being in chat rooms and looking at pictures is a different sexual experience.   It's not that or intercourse-with-wife as equivalent behaviors.  It's related to boredom with the familiar and stimulation by novelty (literal newness) -- and it is not adultery and it is safe sex and it is immediate gratification and it is devoid of intimacy and obligations and it is totally available on demand.  Perfect ingredients for some guys.

It is also related in some men with a fear of intimacy -- it is said that while women  fake orgasms, some men fake entire relationships!

I encourage you to confront him on this and to make sure you get your needs met.  If you are satisfied and he still wants to do chat rooms, the only question then is if it is interfering with his responsibilities in life.

Face to face therapy would likely help....


How to propose acting out a taboo fantasy
1/27/00 Q:  I've been having the fantasy of being in the bathroom while my wife is
having a bowel movement.  I just want to touch her, kiss her, massage her
belly.  It is very powerful and stimulating, and I frequently fantasize
about it while we are having intercourse, especially while I'm having an
I am very reluctant to bring the subject up to her.  Is this something that
a woman would like? I mean, to be watched during "private" moments.
I think that what turns me on more is to think about doing something that
"breaks the rules" rather than the presence of feces, but I'm not sure how
to approach the subject, or even if it is not advisable to even think about
bringing it up to our sex life.
Thanks for all the excellent service you've been offering to people.
You are great!

A:  Starting in childhood, one is taught that going "number one and number two" (for those of you in different cultures, that provides a polite reference to urination and defecation) is a private, "bathroom" thing.  Thus, to the impressionable young mind, there is something shameful or dirty about elimination.  Plus, at some point, everyone is offended by their own odor of bowel contents, and the desire to shield a significant other from that is powerful.

I suspect that more than "break the rules" it is an intimate invasion of your wife's private act, from which you have been heretofore precluded.  That having been said, I am no longer surprised in therapy when, after significant disinhibition, one proposes, tentatively, something out of the ordinary, to find an enthusiastic willingness on the part of the partner.  Then they both scratch their heads and ask why neither was able to propose it before.  The usual answer is: "I was afraid to suggest it for fear that he (or she) would think it was kinky, and that if he didn't want to do it he would have this lingering suspicion that I was unfulfilled and might want someone else to do it with me."

The vast majority of fantasies are more thrilling in the imagination (where you can control EVERYTHING) than in reality.  Some are reported to be more thrilling in reality, but those are a precious few.  And many, many people who act on a fantasy that was disappointing report that in hindsight, if they had known how disappointing it would be, they wouldn't have done it.  Once again, hindsight is 20 - 20.  Plus, for many people, if they act the fantasy out in reality, and decide to not act on it again, find that it has now lost its fantasy excitement.

So it's unpredictable as to her reaction and your assessment if you do it.  A relatively safe way to "test the waters" is to make it a third party thing, soliciting her reaction.  "Honey, I was surfing the net and came across this fantastic sex question and answer site,, and I read where a couple finds it thrilling for the husband to fondle his wife while she is having a bowel movement."  At that point say no more and soak in the sum total of her body language and wait for her to say SOMETHING.  A clearly negative comment provides that answer.  If she's positive or at least curious, you can then ask if she'd like to see what it's like.  Make it VERY clear that it's an experiment, and that if either of you wishes not to repeat it, that it will not be a point of pressure.

Let me (and readers of this service) know what happens, positively or negatively or that you didn't raise the question.  And please remind me that your update goes on 1/27/00.


Will a strong vibrator on the clitoris cause problems?
1/25/00  Q:  I am female and I frequently masturbate using quite a powerful
vibrator.  I am a homosexual and it has been a long time since I have
been with another woman.  I was wondering if a woman's clitoris can
become desensitized by frequently using a vibrator.  I am concerned
about it in the sense that I am afraid I will get something like a
"callous" on my clitoris from masturbating so much that I will have
difficulty achieving orgasm through oral sex when I am with a female
partner.  Do you think that this may be possible?  I am also concerned
that eventually I will not even respond to a vibrator anymore because of
a calloused clitoris.
Thank you.      R.

A:  It is not so much a question of dermatological changes, unless you are actually abrading the skin and causing a callus.  The greater "danger" is that it makes your reptilian brain lazy and accustomed to massive stimulation that the vibrator can provide, but which no human can duplicate.  The best thing is to bring yourself to orgasm in a variety of ways, although a stream of water or your fingers might take longer.  Some women, however, cannot reach orgasm without serious stimulation, and they treat oral sex and other "preliminaries" as affectionate play not designed to achieve orgasm, then when they want to have an orgasm, use a vibrator.

Male can masturbate but has chronic erection dysfunction with a female sex partner
1/24/00 Q:  Dear Sex Doc, I'm sure you don't remember me, but we traded a few e-mail
messages, and you were responsible for me seeking a local sex therapist
for my problems. Basicaly, I'm impotent with a female partner, and have
been for whole 43 years of my life. I've tried Viagra, and it gives me
an errection with women, but I still can't ejaculate. Its a problem that
has started to ruin my self confidence and self esteem, as well as cause
a major depression (I'm taking AD mediactions). My question is one
regarding sex surrogate therapy. I've tried this on mu own using
prostitutes, but its never been successful for me. I'm convinced I will
never be able to have a meaningful relationship unless I can overcome
these problems. I also think sex surrogate therapy might be effective
for me. I've not seen it mentioned on your web site, and was wondering
if you consider it effective? And if you know how I might go about
finding a surrogate partner?
Thanks for your past and hopefuly current help!

A:  Dear J,

If you've tried with prostitutes and not been successful, I doubt that a surrogate will work any better.

The problem with surrogates is that the behavior often does not transfer to the significant other.  I have seen dozens of guys who were able to function quite fine with a "stranger" but not with their SO. If that is the emotional thing for you, functioning with a surrogate might just set you up for profound disappointment with an affectionate person.

Some AD meds (especially Prozac) retard ejaculation or prohibit it.  Premature ejaculators love it.

If you can masturbate to ejaculation but can't with a female partner, it's a psychological problem.

I hope this helps.


1/25/00 He Replies:  Dear Sexdoc:
Thanks for the reply, and don't feel like you need respond to this. I just
wanted to let you know that I cried for an hour after reading your response.
Not that is was anything you said, but I guess it was my last straw at dealing
with this problem. I know the fact that I haven't been able to make love to a
women thru my whole life is psychological. And the AD medication is a new
twist, and hardly responsible for my problem. I don't know if a lot of
professional therapists realize what a problem the issue of sexual disfunction
is for a single male. I went to see a therapist who said he was trained in
sexual issues and his comments were maybe I masturbated to much, and needed to
quit, and to come back when I found someone I wanted to have sex with!
Being single, and having lost a least three women who I loved dearly, and in
large part to my sexual difficulties, I'm not sure that I want to risk being
rejected again. Maybe that's why the idea of a sex surrogate appealed to me. I
guess I always felt if I could just find someone to help me with this issue,
who understood what kind of anxiety and non-confidence I was going thru, maybe
it would solve my problems. Now I'm starting to feel, in fact definatly feel,
that I will never overcome this problem. Even if I meet someone and go thru the
humilitating act of trying to explain my problems, and ask her to go thru all
these prolonged exercises with me, it will only be good for that one partner?
Its hardly a prospect that makes me want to go out and get involved with
someone again, knowing I have to go thru that!
I can understand why prostitutes haven't really fufilled my need in this area,
in that the pressure to perform there is even more pronounced that with a
girl-friend. you know I would almost settle with being able to have sex with
prostitutes, and not a significant other, because that beats the reality that I
now face of failing with both. Everyone assumes that i can just go out and find
someone, and she will automaticaly be this nurturing, kind, understanding women
who will be thrilled to help me out. Well, that's simply not the reality of
dating in your 40's. Who wants to admit to someone that I've practicaly never
had sex with a women?  I guess it sounds like my ego can't stand admitting my
problems, and maybe that is some of it. But I want a partner to respect me and
enjoy being with me, not feel like I'm some kind of psychalogical cripple she
has to nurse into shape. hardly the ideal way for a relationship to flourish!
Anyway, thanks for your comments, as dissapointing as they were to me. I guess
i wanted to beleive that there was a light at the end of this dark tunnel I've
been traveling thru. I guess there isn't!!

The sexdoc replies:  Dear J,

Wait a minute!  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  There are some women who have had endometriosis or scarring from a cesarian section, and those who have chronic vaginismus, for whom vaginal intercourse is painful or impossible.  There are men whose erection is less than three inches.  These men and women compensate by becoming quite adept at using hands, mouth and tongue, fingers, etc., to achieve very satisfying stimulation to orgasm.  Some women compensate by augmenting hands and mouth by becoming expert at anal intercourse.  More than one man with a tiny penis straps on a dildo and vaginally penetrates his lover.

At the risk of sounding cavalier (that's easy for me to say), If you were to advertise in the personals for

 Wanted:  A woman for whom vaginal intercourse is painful or impossible by man with a problem.  Object:  Joint sex therapy and/or exploring the wonderful world of sexuality that is everything but vaginal intercourse.

I'd bet you'd get some responses if you live in a large enough city.  What do you think?

Women readers:  Please comment on the above; e-mail

I think the so-called sex therapist you saw did not have enough training (to put it politely).


What does fantasizing about other people during sex with your SO say about your relationship?
1/24/00 Q:  Hi Dr. Fitz,

 I have written to you before, have appreciated your responses and read
your website consistently. I have learned a lot, not just about sex, but
about how people think and the range of human behaviors.

 However, there is something puzzling me which I would appreciate you
viewpoint about. I was bothered by your answer to the woman who loved
her husband but wasn't very turned on by him. She always fantasized
about someone else while having sex with him. She felt she was being
unfaithful. You said her fantasizing was perfectly fine, lots of people
do it etc. While I understand that this was a pragmatic response since
apparently they had an otherwise happy marriage, I am bothered by,  for
lack of a better term, the spiritual aspect of this.  There is a
movement afoot called the "consciousness movement", part of which is the
attempt to have "conscious" relationships. In part, such relationships
involve total honesty, accountability, and a constant attempt to bring
one's outer behavior into alignment with one's innermost reality. Such
marriages are seen as spiritual as well as physical commitments, where
body, soul, emotions -- all aspects unite. I don't think fantasizing
about someone else fits into this picture. My question is, am I a
hopeless idealist to think that this is possible? Am I part of only a
teeny tiny minority? Does no one else think sex has a spiritual

 At this point in my life, I would rather be alone than be in a
relationship where my partner is fantasizing about someone else all the
time. Sometimes when reading your column, I definitely think I am
destined to be alone!

 Thanks in advance for any comments you might have.


A:  I am reminded of the advice:  "Never ask your lover a question if a possible answer is something you can't deal with."  (e.g., "... Honey, did you call me 'Heather' just now?") I would like to hang my hat on your words four lines from the end:  "... fantasizing about someone else ALL THE TIME." (emphasis mine)

The human mind is stimulated by novelty; the flip side is that it is bored by the same old same old.  In the arena of sexuality, considering that your biggest sex organ is between your ears, fantasizing about things that are not threatening to the integrity of your relationship is not only permissible, but desirable!  There are men who imagine Heather Locklear every time they are having intercourse with their girlfriend.  Does that diminish the quality of their emotional connection with their SO?  I think not.  To the contrary, if they were to focus precisely on the SO's looks and behavior every single time, it would promote boredom and a desire for stimulation from novelty -- hence a perfect set-up for an affair!

Nancy Friday's books, My Secret Garden, Forbidden Flowers, and Women on Top, for women, and Men in Love for men, extoll the virtues of, and the extremely common incidence of, sexual fantasies.  Indeed, there are books on sex roles to spice up your sex life, including "headmaster and naughty schoolgirl," "mistress and slave," and "handsome knight and damsel in distress," to name but a few.

While there is a great deal to be said for sexual monogamy -- behaving sexually only with each other -- there is also a great deal to be said about allowing your fertile imagination to run wild WHILE you are with your partner.  You can be no more a naughty schoolgirl or a domineering mistress or Heather Locklear than you can be you, and appreciative that your lover wants YOU to act roles or "allow" yourself to be imagined a different person.

In the same sense that men admire women in public (and it is the secure woman who says "Honey, I don't care where you get your appetite so long as you eat all your meals at home"), they also are stimulated by imagination when they are with you.   I hope you will accept that as part of being human, and not a sign that either of you is somehow deficient in your ability to integrate your body, soul, and emotions.   Those who have been in long-term committed relationships are more likely to harmonize with this than those who have not yet experienced that.  Please keep this in mind and reflect on it on your seventh anniversary.



Man's low sexual desire caused by numerous factors
1/18/00 Q:  Hi there. I have a problem. I've been married for almost 9 years ,and
have a dwindled sex life with my wife.  Sometimes we'll have sex once in
one month. It's more me than my wife, for she is always willing. It's
not that I can't get it up, it's just that I don't have the desire I
used to have for her. I still get excited about the thought of other
women, so I don't think it's a hormonal imbalance. I can only speculate
at a couple of things:
1. We've been married for almost 9 years.
2. We had problems conceiving, so for 6  long years, while trying to get
pregnant, it was pure mechanics.
3. We have twin toddlers, extremely tiring. I'm always tired at night.
4. Because of the twins my wife had to quit her job, so we're
financially strapped, which can be very stressful.
5. I also feel I should try to satisfy her every time, but it is very
phisically demanding.

I don't know if one or any of these problems are the cause, but I need
My wife says she doesn't feel wanted sexually any more, and I think she
may be partially right.

What can I do?

A:  Win the lottery and hire a nanny.  Seriously, what you have described is extremely common.  Sexual desire is diminished by fatigue, worry, repetition, and performance anxiety.

What you need to do is modify your priorities so that you invest quality time with your wife.  Find another couple with whom you can baby sit trade.  You watch their kid(s) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. one Saturday, they take your kids the next Saturday.  During your time without kids shower, jump in bed, and do something different from your usual routine.  Take turns being master and slave and tell your wife where and how to touch you, then do what she says.  Expect to get better at that over time -- most folks are hesitant to get "kinky" early on.

Remember what they say about oxygen when you fly:  "For those of you traveling with small children, put YOUR OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST."  You MUST take care of your marital relationship so you both will have the strength to take care of the kids!


1/17/00  A follow-up question was received regarding the first millennium Q/A -- please see the last question at the very bottom of this page.

Male losing interest
1/17/00 Q:  Hi
Thoroughly enjoyed your site.  Congratulations on creating such a great resource.
My wife and I are having a big problem.  Basically, I don't get turned on anymore when we have sex.  She is always very active in bed and tries to get me going, but I dont get aroused.  Or I start out aroused, but lose it after about 3-4 minutes.  I just don't find the experience arousing enough anymore.  We've done it thousands of times, in many different ways.  I have no problems at all acheiving an erection, especially when watching a porn video, which I do occasionally.  We have watched them together, but it shouldnt take a sex tape playing in the room to keep me aroused during sex.  Two days ago, I watched a porn to get my muscle limbered up(did not ejaculate, intentionally) and a couple hours later when we started to play around, I initially got hard easily, then lost it due to lack of interest/arousal despite manual stimulation.
We've been married ten years, no kids, no plans for kids.  We are two very different people.  I'm 35, technically minded and employed, analytical, a thinker, even a ponderer.  I'm traditional, a homebody, yet popular, successful and easy-going and laid-back.  She's 33, emotional, very young-at-heart, bartends weekends, a little shallow and immature as far as I can tell.  She doesnt interact with my family anywhere near as much as I would like during family gatherings.  She just sits there, says very little, and counts the minutes until we get to leave.  I've always been very affectionate with her, and am a pretty calm person.

My thoughts on your anal sex pages were:  You've got to be freakin kidding...people give themselves enemas in order to have clean anal sex??? There's actually sites devoted to the act of giving oneself a freakin enema???  UNBELIEVABLE!!!!Are people so obsessed with penetrating their body orifices for pleasurable sensations that they go to these extremes?  Dont get me wrong, sex is great and there's nothing more exciting than a woman having an orgasm but I'd rather be a bachelor than have a sex therapist charge me good money to tell me to try some new positions or watch an erotic video or try anal.  I've always wanted to try anal, but she starts hollering and I'm afraid of hurting her, and by the time I have her anus dilated I'm no longer aroused and it wont come back.  Besides , my finger has found "fecal matter" in there and I'm THOROUGHLY disgusted by this and would never say she should cleanse herself first as she would view this as ridiculous and embarrasing and she figures whats the big deal if I encounter alittle turd anyway?

A final ramble: Successful sex in the last six months: once or twice every two to three weeks   Failed sex:  about the same
 We share a similar sense of humor and share the same views of other people and things.  We both have a strong work ethic, but I wouldnt say this girl is my soulmate   We got married  optimistically and she was the first girl of my age group that I dated seriously.  Previously I dated women a lot older than myself(sex was great, long-term commitment out of the question and both  parties knew it)  Shes ready to leave me for someone with more testosterone, and I cant blame her.  I'll never kick her out.   She'll have to make the move.  And I wont mind that much, except for the emotional loss and the huge pain to split everything up and lose the house, and split up or lose contact with our two most beloved dogs. I'd probably be fairly happy living alone. Well, with a dog,, that is.

I've always loved sex, but I honestly think that driving the same car after ten years gets a little old and I need a new ride.  With different boobs and minus about twenty five pounds and  has the same values and interests.
Re-read this email.  Do you think I should get some Viagara?  She has said she doesnt want that, knowing its a fake erection.
It hurts her enormously knowing that she doesnt do it for me anymore.  Should we go our separate ways? I'd prefer not to do that.
Thanks in advance.

A:  What you present is complicated and cannot come close to being "touched" by e-mail.

Before the tumult of divorce I strongly suggest that you and she commit to a locked ten sessions of values clarification therapy!  That will polarize your indecision to either re-commit or decide to split up.

It seems to me that you contradict yourself:  On the one hand you can't believe that people take a cleansing enema before anal sex, yet you are grossed out by fecal matter on your finger.

Because some women love anal sex, and because they want to make sure that nothing diminishes their lover's zeal to do it, it is usually they, the women, who prep themselves, diplomatically informing their lover that "the back door has been prepared" or some such signal.

For the sake of both of your quality of life I suggest appealing to a professional to help sort this out.


Female has not yet learned how to achieve orgasm
1/12/00 Q:  My boyfriend and I have been having sex for over a year and a half.  The sex is wonderful - we're creative, passionate, and love to try new things.  But I have yet to orgasm - due to lack of proper focus, too much of said focus, having a Catholic background etc, the excuses are endless.

I've been told by friends to try masterbation - good logic, I guess, because if I don't know what gets me off, I can't expect him to.  I'm just not sure how.  I got over my fear of it for the first time tonight and focused on clitoral stimulation.  It was fascinating how different it felt.  I, however, noticed that everytime it got really intense, I started to urinate slightly.  As if I wasn't troubled enough about the orgasm thing, now I'm worried if I'm normal or if there is a way to stop it.

My boyfriend is very understanding, but there are feelings of inadequacy that creep in from time to time.  I'm not saying that orgasm will solve all of our problems, but it would help.

I guess what I am asking are these things
*the whole "normal" dilemma
*a how-to on masturbation
*anything that could help me let go, learn to orgasm, relax, etc.

I appreciate this so much.

A:  You didn't learn to ride a bike or drive a car in one or two lessons, and you will need to be gentle and patient with yourself in learning to be orgasmic.  For many men and women it happens very easily -- men are rewarded with good neurological feelings for stroking their penis, and women find usually that rhythmic touch on their clitoris brings them to orgasm.  In the sense, however that "What I like is erotic; what YOU like is kinky," there are wide individual differences.  Some women alternate between rubbing their labia and rubbing their clitoris.  Some prefer 5 seconds of vertical clitoral rubbing, then 5 seconds of left to right, then 5 of circles around the clitoris, etc.  Some like to slide a condom-covered cucumber in and out of their vagina while simultaneously rubbing their clitoris, and some like to tease their anus with a candle or hairbrush handle, inserting just slightly while rubbing their clitoris.  You are unique and you need to experiment to see what gets your juices flowing.  Once you can reliably bring yourself to orgasm, teach your boyfriend.

Only about 40% of women achieve orgasm from penile-vaginal thrusting alone.  The others have no orgasm, or have one before, after, or during with simultaneous clitoral stimulation.

Try masturbating in the bathtub or shower until your brain figures out the difference between orgasm and urination.

Let me know what happens.


3/8/00 She writes back:  Thank you for your advice on your website.  Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.

All I can say is thank you.  I knew sex would be a perpetual learning experience, but never thought it would be a teaching one (especially since the one I was teaching was myself).   I learned that it wasn't that I wasn't capable, I just didn't know what exactly to expect and I think it frightened me.   I also learned that even though I have a fantastic lover, even he could learn a few things.

And it is wonderful to get completely out of control...

Looking for a professional to provide a sensual massage (note:  this is inspired by Q/As on page 19 dated 12/27/99.  Because this has several rounds of e-mail, readers are encouraged to read the 12/27/99 material before proceeding here.) Link to page 19
1/10/00  Q:  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

I just read a recent question (page 19 12/27/99) 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).
                        Thanks, S. (not her "real" initial)
                       (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").

1/12/00 She replies:  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

No.....I don't think you understand what I mean.  I appreciate you taking
out the time to reply to my questions, however.  I AM waiting until I am
married for any kind of sexual interaction (not just vaginal penetration)
until I am married.  I view, however, a sensual massage from a professional
as different and possibly morally okay.  I do not want to be in any sexual
relationship with any man unless I am married because of my moral/religious
beliefs as well as my recovering from being sexually abused.  You
interpreted that to mean that I was sexually stimulated.  NO!  Quite
contrary....I am seeing a therapist for the abuse I received as a which some of it that I mentioned was pleasurable.......not all
of abuse is painful.  Perhaps seeing a professional masseuse would not be
beneficial in my healing anyway......since I have it screwed up in my head
that sex is love..........


A sensual massage that is not sexual is not subject to the question of "morally OK."  The question of morals arises specifically because sexuality would be involved.  To be more blunt, if you wish to have a professional masseur or masseuse provide a sensual massage that includes sexual stimulation, preferably including orgasm (it's not healthy to get to the brink without orgasm), hence the question whether that is morally OK, I assert that you are NOT waiting until you are married for "any kind of sexual interaction."  Being touched in a sexually stimulating way by someone IS a kind of sexual interaction.  Unless only receiving is not "interaction," or unless your definition of a sensual massage means "feels good but not sexually stimulating."  Because you raised this in response to the couple who paid a masseur to masturbate the wife while the husband watched, I infer that you are indeed referring specifically to having someone stimulate you sexually.

I respectfully suggest that sex is not love -- as the plethora of "one night stands" attests.  I have seen too many couples who were virgins on their wedding night who find that they are extremely incompatible sexually, and many couples who did hand jobs and oral sex in high school,  who "went all the way" as college freshmen or sophomores, who had several "in love" relationships including intercourse (among other things), who thus came to understand what is important to them, and who auditioned for a potential spouse based on that self-knowledge.  From a religious perspective, prohibiting masturbation and pre-marital sex works to maximize sexual tension and promotes the greatest baby production (more followers of the faith).  From a psychological perspective, finding someone with whom you are intellectually, emotionally, and physically compatible, and with whom you share common interests, activities, and values, is the formula for the greatest marital satisfaction and harmony.

That having been said, I assert that while sex can be trivial, it can also be an intensely powerful expression of love -- a unique way of bonding with your lover to provide pleasure with strong caring and affection.

Thank you for pointing out that not all (childhood sexual) abuse is painful.  I am sorry if I conveyed the impression that "some abuse is all pleasurable."

p.s.  This is one of those Q/As that I hope makes readers pause and think.

1/13/00 She again writes:  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

I appreciate your advice greatly.  Sexual stimulation by anyone even if a
professional is indeed not waiting for marriage to have sexual interaction.
And indeed I needed to be reminded that sex is not love, but that it is an
expression of the intimacy and bond between a couple.

I must, however, clarify that not all Christians condemn masturbation.  I am
a firm advocate of it as long as it does not control the individual (hence,
become an addiction) or violate his/her conscience.  I believe that
abstinence is best until married because of the risk of STD's and pregnancy
even with protection.  But most importantly, I believe God knows as the
Creator/Originator of sex that it is such an intimate act that ought to only
be shared between two legally committed, unconditionally-loving individuals.
There is no reality in virgin newlyweds being "sexually incompatible" if the
two individuals are willing to learn and love each other through the
process.  IT is not possible that practice can only make things worse,
unless there was something unhealthy about the relationship to begin with
that should have been picked up on before the marriage.

Waiting is hard, but possible.  Guess I was just trying to somehow get
around my beliefs/faith by thinking about the possibility of a sensual
massage being okay.  Thanks again for helping me to see the truth!

                          Sincerely, "S"

When asked "How much masturbation is too much?" I enjoy inviting the inquirer to substitute another activity, and then to answer the question.  How much playing video games on the computer is too much?  When it interferes with other activities and obligations, like school, work, sleep, eating, social interactions, etc.

Clinical practice is at variance with your assertion that There is no reality in virgin newlyweds being "sexually incompatible" ...  Problems arise when one wants to be sexual with his or her partner more often than the other; when one wants to engage in a sexual activity that the other thinks is inappropriate; when one is more open and adventurous than the other; as well as the development of  sexual dysfunction because of ignorance.  I have had TOO MANY cases of women who developed vaginismus (involuntary spastic clenching of the opening to the vagina) because their ignorant husband tried to ram his penis into a dry vagina, confusing clenching for a hymen, and too many cases of men with erection dysfunction because on their wedding night, exhausted, with a bit of alcohol, nervous, and ignorant, fumbled to insert an erect penis that lost its firmness -- and became alarmed that the problem would be repeated on successive occasions (the anxiety, of course, guarantees repetition).

And so, dear reader, as well as "S," although it is contrary to religious tenets, my encouragement is that IF you are not overwhelmed by guilt, that you patiently learn what your sexual appetite is, you experience an array of sexual behaviors to determine what you like and what you don't, and that you audition a prospective marital partner for compatibility on those factors as well as emotional and intellectual compatibility.  I suggest that ALL incompatibilities be "picked up on before the marriage," including those that are sexual.

1/17/00 She writes again:  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

Thanks for your response.  I would agree with you that many couples who are
"saving themselves" for marriage have high expectations of the honeymoon
night and often make many mistakes and feel let down by the whole
experience.  Rather than blame the concepts of virginity and purity, I would
suggest that there lies a great difference between abstinence and ignorance.
  Only a couple that is naive and not knowledgeable about sex would push a
penis into a "dry vagina" as you alluded to.  Unfortunately many Christian
churches are to blame for this as sex is such a taboo and foreign term.  The
opposite should be true, after all the God we believe in created it and
designed this marvelous gift!  Dr. Fitzgerald, I have never had sex or even
come close, but I know that I have a high sex drive and I know what I like
and don't like simply from being in tune with my body.  Premarital
counseling should be designed to address these issues so that the
unfortunate incidences people have encountered don't need to occur

                     Sincerely, "S"

I agree with most of what you have said except that I assert that you cannot assess your usual and customary sex drive until you are in an intimate relationship where access to being sexual with each other provides the laboratory for identifying your frequency of desire for sexual contact with your partner.  Many people masturbate many more times per month during the first five years they learn how, compared with the second five years.  And many people, men and women, are sexually intimate much more often during the first six months of being intimate, than after the first six months.  The partner who wants sex more often frequently feels "suckered" -- like a bait and switch scam.  That's the sort of sexual compatibility I assert cannot be adequately assessed without intimate sexual experience.  It's much easier (though very difficult and painful nonetheless) to terminate a live-together relationship of one year than to go to marriage counselors or marital therapists a year after your wedding.

It's a trade off that each person must decide:  being a virgin on your wedding day, taking the chance that you and your spouse may be incompatible, or not being a virgin, having determined your sexual appetite and having concluded that you are sexually compatible with your spouse.  There is certainly SOME flexibility in sexual frequency and activity, but if the gap is too wide, one feels constantly hounded, and the other feels constantly hungry, unlovable, and undesirable.  My dear "S," I see this frequently, and I attempt to respond to the plight of those people who implore me to publicize how to proceed in life to minimize the possibility of avoidable problems. Marriage is a strain for most people.  Going into it shoulder to shoulder, as allies instead of adversaries, is a better predictor of marital longevity and satisfaction.  Too many people have said "If I knew then what I know now, I would never have married him or her."  If they divorce, I guarantee they will assess sexual compatibility before getting married again.


Can oral sex cause bumps on the labia?
1/7/00 Q:  I have just recently conviced my girlfriend to allow me to perform oral sex
on her, and thanks to some of the tips I found on your site and others, she
loved every second of it and it eager for an encore performance.
The problem is that she has recently developed some small bumps on the inside
of her vagina right inside the lips.  They are not puss filled, and they are
not painful, but they worry her none the less (she worries a lot about most
anything, and this understandably upsets her to no end).  It has only been 4
or 5 days since I last performed oral sex on her- I have no Hepatitis
infections and at the time had no cold sores on my mouth (I still dont).  She
went on her period the day after I performed oral sex.  I believe I had a
small flu virus, but could that cause any problems?  Are the bumps totally
unrelated to the oral sex?  Could some STD have set in and risen its ugly
head in the short week?  Please reply quicky- she has scheduled a walk-in
doctors appointment for this Saturday, but I would like to allay her fears as
soon as possible.  Thank you very much for your time

A:  NOBODY can give more than a general, vague response to this -- it must be inspected by an MD in person.

The chance that it is caused by oral sex is very small but possible.  There are so many variables, though, that I can't urge you to allay her fears except to say that many lovers with modest experience feel some anxiety and guilt and jump onto the slightest physical anomaly as proof that their sex activity will be exposed to the world!

Please e-mail after she gets diagnosed to tell me the diagnosis.

Dr. Fitzgerald aka sexdoc

Does less lubrication mean less interest in sex?
1/6/00 Q:  Hello Dr Fitz ~

My boyfriend and I (both 25 years old) have been together
for 4 years, living together for 3. We're very happy
together - we continue to grow closer and learn about each
other. However, over the past year, I feel like my body is
less interested in sex. I still find my boyfriend sexy and
when we're having sex, I still am able to have an orgasm
easily. However, before sex I used to get very wet and now I
rarely do. We do have fore-play and it feels wonderful. I'll
be emotionally aroused but my body doesn't seem to be
physically aroused. We use K-Y Jelly a lot more, but I'd
rather be physically turned on rather than using a lotion.
Is this just female dryness? I'd like to stress again that
this problem occurs only before sex. Once he's been inside
me for a minute or two, I can feel my body relax and begin
to get wet.

There are a couple things happening in my life that I think
might have something to do with my body's lack of initial
response. First, about two years ago, I started to develop
mild anemia. I'm taking iron supplements, but still feel
tired more than usual. Could that effect a sex drive?
Second, I switched birth control pills from ortho tri-cyclen
to a generic brand that isn't a tri-cycle type of pill.
Finally, I've noticed that ever since I've started getting
less wet, my boyfriend's penis doesn't fit as easily into
me. His penis is large (average length but quite thick), so
when he first enters me, I feel like the skin at the base of
my vagina is tearing a bit. K-Y Jelly helps a lot, but now I
get a bit nervous before sex because I hate that tearing
feeling. Once my body has relaxed and we're having sex,
everything is fine and comfortable. But I'd like to avoid
the K-Y Jelly and just be turned on naturally. Plus, because
I dislike that tearing feeling, I've started to think of
that rather than the joy of sex. That means that my
boyfriend is constantly the one doing the seducing and
initiating sex. I don't think that's fair to him. I'd like
to get back to that comfortable feeling when my body looked
forward to sex rather than having to be coaxed into sex.

Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks for your help ~

A:  Because I know this will be meaningful to a host of other people I will be publishing this on Answers page #20

You, and many, many other women, are placing much too much importance on your physiology.  All kinds of things affect your lubrication from birth control pills, cold medications, dietary supplements, diuretics, and simply being a bit sub-clinically dehydrated.

Please diminish the importance of your lubrication as a barometer of sexual excitement!  Use KY every time, or, if you're not using latex condoms, try ALBOLENE moisturizing makeup remover (more viscous and doesn't dehydrate).

Please make sure you are lubricated either by your body or by added lube before penetration is attempted. That "tearing feeling" can cause unconscious clenching, and you can develop a secondary problem of functional vaginismus!

Please focus on "those loving feelings" and not on the humidity of your vagina.


Concerns about anal sex
1/5/00 Q:  My fiance and I have a wonderful sex life. We both have always been open to
trying new positions that will help enhance our orgasms. However, he has
recently brought up the idea of having anal sex. We have read about the "how
to's" and how you need to use K Y Jelly. However, I have a few hesitations
before trying it.  I have read about how it is supposed to feel exceptionally
good for my fiance but I haven't read or found anything about how it will
feel to me.  Can I get an orgasm through anal sex? I am also wondering if it
will cause any discomfort for myself.  Another question that I have not been
able to find the answer to is, is there anything I will have to do to
"prepare" for anal sex such as cleaning myself? Because the anal canal/rectum
is where fecal mater is excreted  from the body, will that pose a problem at
all?  I just a little uncomfortable without having the answers to these
questions and I would very much appreciate it if you could help.
Thank you for your time.

A:  Dear C

Please go to my home page and scroll down until you find the links to (Answers to questions about ...) anal sex and anal sex 2

Kindly read both of those pages in their entirety and please get back to me if you have any additional questions.

For your information, your questions are so common that I just created those two pages (a few years ago).


Guy goes limp when receiving oral sex
1/5/00 Q:  I have recently met a guy who isn't able to maintain an erection while I perform oral sex on him. My ability to perform it is not the problem, I love it and am good at it.  He says he's never had an orgasm from a BJ, which I can understand. But, I can't deal with the fact that he goes limp when I "go down on him." Even though I don't take it personally, it prevents me from doing something I like and that turns me on a lot!  Is there anything either of us can do to make him maintain an erection during oral sex? Is this a mental thing, a physical thing, or what? Other than that, he is a great lover.

A:  If he's hard for a hand job or vaginal intercourse or when he masturbates, it's purely psychological.  Some men and some women are in conflict about oral sex because either they have thought, or a lover has told them, that it is dirty -- at a minimum, it's where pee comes out, and worse, it's near where fecal matter comes out -- the negative part of the conflict, but it feels good, the positive part of the conflict.  One way to resolve the conflict is to lose the erection or to report that it does "nothing for me" for women.  It's an unconscious way of saying "I feel bad for feeling good because you are doing something dirty, and even though it feels really good, I don't want the bad feelings so I will unconsciously lose the erection so I won't have to deal with this decision."  My Freudian colleagues will love this explanation, and my cognitive behavioral colleagues will say "Bullshit!  The guy's just nervous or has performance anxiety or doesn't want a repeat of coming in a lover's mouth to have her repulsed by that and thus appear to reject him."  The solution in either case is to get him close to orgasm by your hand or his, then just as he starts to come, engulf his erect penis as deeply into your mouth as you can, humming "yum, yum" so he will be reassured that you won't scold him for coming in your mouth.  And remember: You don't have to swallow!

Let me know what happens.


Guy takes a long time to cum -- is it her fault?
1/3/2000  Q:     Dear Sex Doc,
I have written to you before and i appreciate your fast reply.  Ok i am 16
years old and have been sexually ivolved with an 19 year old  guy.  I have
performed oral sex on him many times but he can't ejaculate. When we have sex
it takes him a very long time to  "cum" sometimes over an hour. I have tried
performing oral on him for long periods of time but after a while you get
bored and he gets desensitized. I have gone to links on your sight about oral
sex and ihave tried everything short of anal stimulation. I don't know if he
would feel wierd about getting anal stimulation because I hear some guys are
wierd about it. I dont know if i am just bad at fellato or is it he can't
"cum" from it but i need advise. he has never had it done' by someone other
than me so we don't know if it is just me. If you should decide to put this
on your web site please leave out my name. Thanks alot.

A:  If he takes an hour to cum in vaginal intercourse, it ain't your oral technique, believe me!

Either he's nervous, or inexperienced, or just one of those guys with a low testosterone level or higher nerve thresholds.  He could have retarded ejaculation, but without a work-up it can't be diagnosed.

Because it sounds like you are open-minded, I suggest experimenting by having him masturbate until he is about to come, then to penetrate orally or vaginally  while still stroking himself.  It sort of "trains" the penis to feel comfortable in those environments. With each successive event penetrate sooner and sooner.

If you try anal intercourse, be very clear that you will HAVE TO re-lube every few minutes because the anal sphincters act like a windshield wiper to remove the lubrication.  If you fail to re-lube often enough you will have one very sore anus!

1/17/00 She writes again:    Dear Sex Doc,
I think you misunderstood me. When i said anal stimulation  i meant me
stimulating him anally with my finger. I hear that this intensifies oral sex.
 I haven't asked him about this, so how do you recomend that i bring it up. I
don't want to just surprise him and do it, i don't want to scare him.

A:  You're right; I did misunderstand.  I thought you meant the greater stimulation the penis receives from the tightness of the penis being in the anus.  I suggest the assertive approach.  After a few minutes of giving him oral sex, announce that you want to try something and that you want him to just go along with it to see what happens.  If your fingernails are short and not sharp, put on a latex examining glove (quite inexpensive if bought in a medical supply store* in quantities of 100; quite expensive if bought in small quantities at your local drug store), lube a gloved finger, make progressively smaller circles around his anus, and gently "pulse" your fingertip, telling him to try to fart (he might).  When he bears down, push in and out going a little deeper each time.  When your finger "pops in," push the pad of your finger up toward his pubic bone and make a "come here" motion.  That will stimulate his prostate gland.  Be careful:  Prostate stimulation along with anal stimulation and oral sex can blow the top of his head off, causing loud sounds, gasping breath, bucking hips, and very powerful pelvic contractions that will squeeze hard on your finger (the one in his rectum).

If your fingernails are too long or too sharp, purchase a slim dildo -- about 1/2 inch in diameter and about 5 inches long, and cover it with one of the fingers in a latex examining glove (much much cheaper than condoms), lube it up, and angle it up toward his pubic bone.  When he quivers, the tip has touched his prostate.  Too little lube makes for a sore anus so use plenty.  Tell me what happens!


*Note:  Just as business offices go to an "office supply" for paper, pens, envelopes, paper clips, etc.,  medical personnel go to a medical supply store for gloves, needles, syringes, etc.  Examining gloves are very different from surgical gloves.  Most examining gloves are non-directional -- that is not specified as to left (hand) or right.  Some have a thicker band at the open end (like a condom) and some have an open end as thin as the rest of the glove.  Surgical gloves are much more expensive and are usually directionalized to minimize surgeon hand fatigue.  For many things inserted into the vagina or rectum, using the finger of an examining glove works just fine and is much less expensive than a condom.  I suggest NOT using the finger of an examining glove as a condom with a penis inside.  The quality control is quite different.  For both vaginal and anal play many people report that the extra empty glove fingers flopping around are also stimulating.  If you're embarrassed to walk in to a store, try pricing examining gloves on the internet (but I suggest pricing them at a medical supply first).

Link to Answers #19

Submit a Question via E-Mail to the Sex Doc.

Created by SexDoc
web site webmaster