Sex and Relationships
Answers to questions about sex therapy and sexuality
Copyright (C) 1998, 1999, 2000 William F. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.
Welcome to ASK THE SEX DOC
Answer page #21
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THE SEX DOC
My wife and I have been married for almost 2 years. We dated for
before we got married. She is the most incredible woman in the world and I
love her with all my heart. We get along perfectly in every way except when
it comes to sex. We even work together and we get along great.
She has almost no sex drive. It is not uncommon for us to go 2
or 3 months
without having sex. To make matters worse, I could go every day if she would
go for it. She was raised Catholic and was taught that sex was wrong and
it's hard for her to get over that. I try to be understanding and strong,
but it's difficult.
I feel rejected all the time. She tries to show her love for me
ways which I appreciate, but I really long for a lively, exciting, existent
She is afraid I will cheat on her, which I couldn't do, but her
dad did that
to her mom and that has stuck with her. We have tried therpy, tried
scheduling sex, watching pornos, making a video and other things. I try to
be romantic and spontanious, but nothing works. This puts a huge strain on
our relationship and I'm worried. We've both shed so many tears on this
topic and we don't know where to turn.
I love my wife with all my heart and I want to be the best husband I
but I need to feel loved and attractve and wanted.
If you have any advice, plese mail me back.
Thank you for your time,
A: First, I suggest that she get a thorough check-up by her OB-GYN, including a hormone assay -- in case her hormones are imbalanced.
If that all checks OK, I suggest getting therapy from an experienced sex therapist. While 60% of mental health folks advertise that they deal with sexual problems, in point of fact, fewer than 2% have been specialty trained.
I infer that she does not masturbate, and that she is severely inhibited. I have had dozens of couples like you in therapy and the success rate is about 95%.
This is about the most help I can be by e-mail; this needs face to face assessment by a medical doctor and a sex therapist.
Dr. Fisher comments:
Now for hormone assays.
YES, hormone assays are extremely valuable. To date, there are tons
of different assays that can be performed. Most assays will test for a
broad spectrum of hormones including, testosterone, prolactin, LSH and
FSH levels. Some assays are hormone specific while others can scan almost
every hormone in the body, rather it be a chronic or acute onset of decreased
libido. As far as time is concerned, some assays are taken every
three days during a woman's cycle, some seven, and some assays are performed
by intravenously pushing a dose of one reproductive hormone into the woman's
bloodstream and recording at different time intervals (30, 60 and 90 minutes)
how the others hormones react and how much or fast the body absorbs the
compound. The type of test that a physician would recommend would
depend on the symptoms of the woman and if one hormone was suspected to
be low or unbalanced. Now, under what seemingly "normal" circumstances
would a hormone assay be called for? If it has been determined by
the care provider that no external factors (kids, sexual boredom, abuse,
antidepressants, abnormal stress, etc..) are involved, then it would be
worth looking into an assay. But you have to take each individual
case to heart. I have a guideline as a reproductive endocrinologist
that I follow when a woman brings the problem of decreased libido to me.
I have her fill out a ten page questionaire at the office. The questions
involve asking everything such as drug use (street and prescribtion), sexual
history (rape, abuse, frequency), occupation, religious background, etc....
It may appear to be intrusive on my part, but 90% of the time I can identify
the problem by the way the questions are answered. If the questionaire
and physical exam come up negative, then I start with a COMPLETE endocrine
work up. This includes hormone assays for not only the reproductive
system, but also the Thyroid, Pituitary, Adrenal and Hypothalamus glands.
These glands, especially the thyroid and pituitary, have direct feedback
on gonadal control and function. Diseases such as Cushing's Disease,
Diabetes, high blood pressure or Thyroidism could actually affect sexual
drive in both men and women. If I can pin point or narrow the spectrum
of possible problems down, I can then order a specific assay. But,
EVERY woman will go through a time of decreased libido at certain times
in her life, as will men. If a woman goes more than six months with
decreased libido definately seek help....medical or therapy route.
A few weeks ago, during cunnilingus, he started licking around my anus. A week or so later, he wanted to put his finger inside. I got the vaseline (not a good lubricant at all, I found out!) and we tried that. It hurt. He had one finger inside maybe up to the first knuckle. He stopped. He now routinely licks around the anus during cunnilingus, even though I've told him it does nothing for me. In fact, in kinda turns me off. I end up very dry when he does it. I can allow it, I guess, for the sake of meeting both of our wants (needs?)
Very dry? Vaginally? Note: A great deal of material on "how to do anal sex right" is addressed on the dedicated pages: analsex and analsex2
Now, last night he and I were head-to-toe on each other and he kept
curving his hips upward, putting his anus in my face rather than the usual
(his penis). While doing this, he was inserting his finger (two at one
point) into my anus and thrusting. I got the idea that he wanted me to
do that, too. I really really tried to do it. I greased his "area" with
the KY jelly and applied pressure. He was relaxed enough. His anus opened
up a little, like he was ready, you know, like I was on the right track,
but I just couldn't go inside. It stinks, first of all, and I'm pretty
sure it would taste awful, and then there's the issue of my fingernails.
I was afraid of hurting him and was (am) totally disgusted with the idea
of putting something of mine in his butt. I'll handle the part about him
in me on my own-it hurts and that's where I draw the line. We must find
a way to do it that isn't painful to me for it to continue and that's that,
but I have an idea of how to give him anal stimul!
ation without me going in there.
I suggest direct verbal communication rather than body language that can be misinterpreted. KY jelly is OK but because the tightness of the anal sphincter, that works like a windshield wiper to sort of scrape off the KY jelly. KY liquid, or Astroglide work better, and many people find that Albolene unscented moisturizing make-up remover works best. It is paraffin and petroleum based, not water soluble, so it won't evaporate, but it cannot be used with latex (condoms or gloves).
Neither of you has taught your brain to relax the anal sphincters. I suggest gradual dilation over a several week period until each of you can accept into your rectum, the size of whatever you want to insert. "Relax" does NOT mean that under conscious control you can open your anus like you do your mouth. It means that your brain learns not to respond to anal dilation from the outside in, with reflex clenching.
It stinks only if there is fecal contents in the rectum. That's why I suggest a rectal rinse and a shower with a bactericidal soap (Safeguard, Lever 2000, etc.), preferably after a bowel movement, before ass play. Aside from the feces, however, there are secretions around the anus which have a distinct odor that some find objectionable while others do not. Yes, it would be distasteful to the vast majority of the population to taste feces (another reason for the BM, rinse, and shower).
Yes, your fingernails can puncture the rectal wall, which can cause death if untreated. That's why a toy you insert your finger into (designed to stick a small vibrator in) or a dildo, is best.
I thought of getting a dildo, but he has a really serious problem with anything that can be interpreted as homosexual. I know he won't let me put something in him that looks like a penis. (He went to jail once for beating the crap out of a guy he didn't even know, just because he seemed gay...real sweet of him, huh? Finding that out made me really wonder just who I married.)
The pleasure for a man derives from both the anal stimulation itself -- the anus is richly populated with nerves -- and the internal prostate massage. One more time: homosexuality is defined by the gender of the lovers, not by the activity. Your using a dildo to get to his prostate no more makes either of you gay than his performing cunnilingus (which many lesbians do) makes either of you lesbian! Puhleeeze, people, get a grip!
Anyway, is there some kind of apparatus that can be used to stimulate him anally that bears no-or little-resemblance to a penis? It just needs to be long enough to get to the alleged g-spot. I'm not willingly to risk going in deep. Not yet, anyway. If he has a bowel movement on me, that will put up a block for me and stop that area of exploration, which will probably frustrate him.
There are totally smooth "bullet-shaped" vibrators that are cylindrical, and there is a nifty new hand-held rubber stimulator called the "anal screw," which might address his homophobia, but the dildos made to look like the "real thing" have convolutions and variations in diameter for the purpose of adding more feeling. One sex toy that might be best for both of you is a "man handler" (or other such name) which has a 6 inch handle and a ten inch shaft that is not designed to look like a penis, and which has wider rings every inch, to provide a pulsing sense of increased and decreased diameter as it is inserted and withdrawn. That would give you something to hang on to, while providing him with anal stimulation and prostate stimulation at (your) arm's length. If all else fails, use a butt plug. No penis is shaped like that. (Pictures of all these things are available on the internet.)
Also, any idea on how to convince him that it is not healthy to put anything into my anus and then into my vagina? He insists that all that bacteria talk is exaggerated, but I believe it! He's gonna give me a serious infection one of these days if he doesn't at least keep the two areas seperated! After last night, with the two-fingered insertion and thrusting, my bottom hurts inside clear up to the middle of my back. If he wants to focus on an anus, I'd rather it be his, quite frankly. Even if I think it's gross, at least it won't hurt me. Let him have the hurt and the liquid B.M.'s that follow if he just has to have it.
Convince him? I suggest that you flat out inform him in no uncertain terms that expert authority has made it abundantly clear that some of the bacteria that flourishes in the rectum can cause a serious vaginal infection, and that you will cease and desist ANY sexual contact if he doesn't respect your boundaries. Besides, he's not going to be the one to explain the presence of streptococcus faecalis (strep throat of the vagina from fecal matter) to the doctor.
If YOU retrain your brain to let your anus be dilated without discomfort, you might discover that the anal stimulation plus the g-spot stimulation (internally, from whatever is in your rectum pressing against the thin tissue that separates it from your vagina, on to g-spot) are a seriously desirable combination. And please note the correct words: stimulation. The movement of digested solid matter through the intestines is triggered by bulk and volume. That's why there are cramps when you take an enema -- the muscles are trying to transport the fecal matter along the alimentary canal. The bulk of the water in an enema triggers the need for a bowel movement, and the bulk of a dildo or a butt plug is also similarly stimulating, so even if you have a bowel movement and a rectal rinse, more "stuff" will be transported by the stimulation if you wait long enough. In the short term, however, lots of people engage in anal intercourse without getting fecal matter on whatever was inserted.
I didn't even know people had anal sex until very recently, except for gay men. I'm twenty nine years old and this is my second marriage. I have two kids. Am I naive or is he weird?
Anal sex is avoided by about half of the gay population (and I don't mean only "bottoms") according to some surveys. Can I choose "none of the above?" I think you are both unexposed to some alternative sexual behavior.
When you pile this up with what we discussed before and with the affairs in my first marriage and my boy being molested by his dad, who got away with it, by the way, my head is spinning. I'm becoming a little preoccupied with sex as a curiosity to be studied for understanding. As a result, it's beginning to lose it's appeal to me. I'm getting aroused less and less often and less intensely. The thought of sex (sometimes accompanied by masturbation) is getting to be about as good as the real thing. I'm afraid it's going to get to where my imagination is actually better than sex. I'm trying to stay open, but it's becoming something I have to make an effort to do and that's not right or fair to me.
If I decide I just like my sex plain, am I a prude? Does everybody have sex in every orifice possible?
The main thing is the question about the apparatus I asked about.
Most folks find that variety is what is arousing, and that the same old same old is what causes boredom. But if the variety is uncomfortable, distasteful or smelly, I would expect it to be a turn-off. The challenge, then, is to see if incorporating the above suggestions can make it a positive experience. Neither of you has to engage in any activity you find too distasteful, but there is no reason why one of you might enjoy something the other finds not pleasurable. I have had men and women in sex therapy learn to relax their anus and easily accept a dildo 1 1/2 inches in diameter, to then conclude: "O.K., I learned how to do that discomfort-free, and it just doesn't do it for me." In other cases, one member of a couple will conclude that it doesn't interest them while the other concludes that a new chapter of sex has been opened up and they want it.
There is a good reason why a videotape arrived on the scene several months ago. "Bend Over, Boyfriend" (available at goodvibes.com) illustrates the pleasure, for some, of role reversal. For most people it is, at a minimum, educational and enlightening. For insensitive guys who insist that their woman "ought to be able to do it like in the porn videos," and who expect her to figure it out, I suggest that they learn how to accept something the size of their own penis in their rectum, to see what it feels like. And for those couples who engage in the role reversal where she straps on a dildo and has anal intercourse with him, she learns a lot about being the initiator and penetrator, and he learns much about being passively pleasured. It is highly educational.
Are you a prude? Hardly, based on what you have endeavored to cooperate with so far. Humans are powerfully stimulated by novelty and variety. You don't need every orifice. See answers page 20 at 2/11/00 for non-penetrating sexual release.
Thank you again for a wonderfully articulate and self-disclosing e-mail. I KNOW that many readers will identify with the process if not with the content. And, please let me know what you do and how you feel about it.
one other quick question: when i masterbate is it normal for me to have
sick to my stomach feeling for about half an hour afterwards, could it be
that Im sticking somthing too far up my vagina? Is this possible? please try
to answer both my letters asap! thanx!
Dear Readers: It is e-mails like this that inspired me to write "SEX: What Every Young Woman NEEDS to Know."
First, I presume that "... that was my parents ..." means " ... that BELONGED to my parents," not " ... in which my parents were being sexual ..." Parents beware of where you leave your videos (of yourselves).
Is sexual experimentation and sex play normal and common? Absolutely YES. The only damage it does is to create guilt in those who think there is something wrong. Such sex play occurs in all cultures and is a natural expression of curiosity (elsewhere in the last month I made reference to teenage boys who have a circle jerk where everyone masturbates the boy to his right). The outer limit of age difference is generally 4 years; if there is more than a four year difference it is considered a candidate for sexual abuse evaluation.
Too young to buy a vibrator? My dear teenager, a majority of the vibrators sold in the major chain drug stores, with pretty pictures of a tennis player holding the vibrator to his elbow are purchased for women for use on the clitoris! Save up your babysitting money and scope out the vibrators in your local Walgreens. Simplicity is enough. Forget the heat lamps and other add-ons. A rechargeable vibrator is better than batteries (cost) and a plug in (limited range and can make the TV set in the living room go fuzzy). The ones with different tips you can install are a dead give-away that they are for sex.
Other things to insert vaginally? So long as it is not sharp at the point (could puncture the vaginal lining and be life threatening), sharp along an edge (could cut the labia or introitus), or bacteria laden, such as an uncovered cucumber, and if it is lubricated enough so it doesn't cause friction sores, and big enough that you won't lose it up you, there should be no problem. If you're searching the internet for porn, surely you have seen pictures of MANY things inserted vaginally (or is that only on the paid sites).
A number 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. If you go to http://www.faqtory.com/sexdoc
there click on the search tab in the upper-right corner, and in the text
window type in Barbach you will find other answers to questions about becoming
Barbach's book, For Yourself, is the best self-help book for women. Read it cover to cover, page by page, without skipping ahead, and do each and every exercise no matter how easy you think it is. If that doesn't result in your having orgasms you need professional help (start with your OB-GYN).
Make them last longer? Only with g-spot stimulation, and for that you need a partner (of either gender). Search my site for instructions on that.
Could guilt be interfering with your sexual response? Why do you think that 80% of my patient case load is Catholic? (guilt and fear-based obedience)
The "sick to your stomach" sensation is uncommon. Try clitoral stimulation with nothing up you to see if the orgasm alone is doing it. You would have to be doing damage internally to create a 30-minute pain. If you're just queasy -- a little sick to your stomach -- it could be just disorientation from the endorphins (chemicals released on orgasm).
Learn all you can and be a peer counselor!
A medical doctor is kind enough to comment:
Dear Dr. Fitz,
I was recently viewing your pages (#21 to be exact) and came across the March 22nd E-mail from the fourteen year old female with several questions, one being a question about abdominal pain during/after masturbation with an object. Your advice to all of her questions was great, but I thought maybe some additional advice may be helpful. I recently graduated from medical school with my specialty being Reproductive Physiology and Endocrinology. During my clinical training I had almost fifty teenage girls walk into the clinic and, with much embarrassment, ask the same question about "the sick feeling" you get after you masturbate. So, here goes. It is natural and common for girls and women to get a "sick" feeling after any intense orgasm. Why? Because the vagina is contracting to "straw" up or capture any semen that may be introduced into the reproductive tract (Mother Nature's way to insure that a pregnancy results and offspring is ensured) ....even though the orgasm that triggered the vaginal contractions is a result of masturbation, thus no seminal fluid. The contractions are the same as cramps experienced during menses (your period) or during the very, very early stages of childbirth labor...same muscles and tissues are contracting. These contractions cause endorphins to be released in an over abundance, thus you feel a little "sick" to your stomach and tired.
This "sick" feeling usually only last a few minutes so, my fear is that penetration with the object may indeed be too deep and the girl is probably hitting the entrance to her cervix.....no real harm.....the cervix is made to make it almost impossible for a penis or object to enter it. For the female in the E-mail, I would strongly suggest she purchase some reading material on anatomy and particularly your book (Read it and purchased several copies for my clinic for young women in the same situation). I would definitely suggest buying a simple vibrator to use until she is more "advanced" in the art of masturbation. She does risk injury to her anatomy and tissues with household objects that are sharp. You can simplify this E-mail or not even use it at all...I don't care. I just thought some medical insight from a female doctor may help that young female in the E-mail. At least this one asks questions. The girls that don't end up being parents before they learn to drive. Hope I have been of some help.
3/24/00 the questioner writes again: thank you so much for your
help you answered all my questions perfectly . Oh
and thank you dr fisher, was it? umm im just curious about one other thing
is it safe to get my cat to lick me? it wont give me warts or any thing will
it? thanx again . reply soon.
(I suggested she find the dog licking question, below)
We continue to be plagued with sexual problems and he runs the gamut of excuses. We have been to counseling here in our little hick town, to no avail and he refuses to go anymore. He told me later that was the most grueling thing he had ever been thru. and really we hardly talked about the problems at all.
He is still very confusing, he professes his love for me, constantly wants gushy stuff, pinches my butt in the shower, holds my boobs as we fall asleep. But nothing much else.
When we doooooooo! make love he seems totally into it and kisses & kisses & kisses me afterwards.
When I approach him (the only time anything happens, and I rarely do now because of rebuffs) there have been times when he will GET AN ERECTION but will change the subject and get up to make coffee. Go Figure that one.
One other thing, I have noticed over time different situations where he gets uncomfortable in a public setting (all different I can't pinpoint anything particular) and HE IS OUTTA there, with me or without me. The sex thing seems similar.
He is a professional and very comfortable before groups where he is in charge.
What do you think is with it with him and I am about at my wits end. I have really lost any sexual desire for him much, but along with that goes my intimate feelings as well. AND HE HATES THAT!
Thanks for any response, sorry this is so long, but it is complicated.
A: While it is not rocket science to infer that he is conflicted, as evidenced by the contrast between lack of initiation and enthusiasm once he is into it and afterwards (kissing, etc.), it is unclear to me what you can do in the absence of well-trained professional intervention.
You can try confronting him more, but I suspect that he will honestly reply that he doesn't know what's going on for him. Clearly the psych 101 model of reward and reinforcement isn't working here. The negative forces of which you and I are blissfully unaware are obviously overpowering the positives, or his behavior would be different.
In sex and relationship therapy I would first gain his trust, then assign homeplay exercises designed to elicit his underlying emotional information. Once the inhibitions (I would sensitively look for "loss of control" in his case) are identified, they can be systematically dissipated if the couple is willing to work at it. That approach has about a 95% success rate. About one couple in 20 drops out for various reasons.
But because you say "hick town" I presume that you do not have a sex expert. One possible source is to see where the nearest chapter of Parents United is, and see if they have a therapist on staff who could deal with this. Do an internet search for either "parents united" or "Giaretto."
While I would dearly love to suggest a self-help strategy that might work, there is none od which I am aware, and as his sexual partner, you are part of the problem, which is partly why a professional can interrupt the dysfunctional cycle.
Please let me know what you think.
Is this abnormal to do it this often?
Also, earlier tonight when i was in the shower i decided to masterbate.
dont usualy do it in the shower because lack of time and stuff. usualy i do
it when parents arent arround. Anyways, i think i was going to hard and fast
because it started to burn arround the area i was rubbing. My hands had
become rough from all the soap and stuff so i irritated it. Now, i have a
burn on my penis that hurts. I beleive it is only on the skin.
What do i do about it?
How do I know if it is a serious problem?
When do you think it will go away?
Thank you for all my help and please answer my questions. I appreciate
Listen up, everybody! It is "normal" to masturbate once every 6 weeks, or fourteen times day. The only masturbation that is excessive is that which interferes with other living obligations, like school, homework, sleep, or socializing, OR that which causes skin irritation. When you irritate your skin (penis or clitoris), gently rub in hand lotion to moisturize and soothe it, give it a rest until the irritation goes away, and MAKE SURE you are lubricated enough when you resume pleasuring yourself. It's not serious if that is all that happened. It will go away fastest if left alone to heal.
I am in a committed relationship with a woman who is actively bi-sexual.
I have always been aware of this and I strive to be supportive. For her
this is not just sexual, but rather she is looking for a long term
committed female partner, as well as her relationship with me. Our
intention is to be married and have children - Ideally, there would be a
second woman - her "wife" - as an integral part of our marriage.
Obviously, implementing this ideal has been problematic, but we continue
to talk about it and are fairly confident that we can make it work with
the right person.
I have said all this to give you some history, but this in itself is
the problem - at least I don't think it is. The problem is initiating
sex with her. While sex, when it happens is very satisfying for both of
us, she often becomes very anxious when she is aware that I desire sex
with her. She has told me that this has been a problem with all her past
partners, even women, although she admits that sexually, she is more
comfortable with women. What is very frustrating for me, is trying to
read her clues as to when she would like sex with me (it does happen).
Often she will behave very sexually with me (body language, touching,
innuendoes, etc.) But as soon as I make a response, she pulls away. We
have talked about this and she has said that knowing I am thinking of
sex with her makes her extremely anxious. The times that we do have sex,
I never have a clue as to why or how it came about - just that sometimes
she is very responsive, but most times is not. I have tried initiating
sex, or just letting her make all the moves, or pretending that I don't
want sex, or that I am ambivalent about it. Often she will be aggressive
when she knows I cannot have sex (on my way to work, or talking on the
phone). Many times when we do make love I feel that she is doing it out
of pity for my frustrations.
She does have issues with her father, an abusive alcoholic, though he
did not abuse her sexually. Also, she was raped at 13 by a group of boys
while she was unconscious - she claims she has no memory of the actual
rape. She says that she likes men, has had other male partners, and that
she is very much in love with me. I know this is true, and that she is
not trying to tease me or play some other conscious game with me. I am
also certain that her abuses by men are at the core of this problem. I
just want to know how to help, to allow her to trust me and be
comfortable with me in bed as well as out.
A: Dear S,
From what you describe I would speculate that she is a candidate for intensive psychotherapy starting at once per week and probably progressing to twice a week after around 6 months. It might require two years of therapy to deal with that. The upper limit of self-help is for you to be kind, gentle, and sensitive to her moods and willingness. Short of intensive psychotherapy I doubt that there is anything you can do to "allow her to trust [you] and be comfortable with [you] in bed as well as out."
Some things, like premature ejaculation, can be "fixed" by a self-help program, which is why I have published the entire protocol on my web page. Others, like sexual trauma, especially childhood abuse, require seriously advanced expertise. My RE-TRAINING (advanced specialty training for experienced therapists) program was 9 days of 12 hours a day. The lost income (being in training instead of with patients) and the cost of the training are factors in the fees of therapists like me. In addition, there is always attrition during the training. Some advanced therapists simply cannot handle the massive feelings that get mobilized by the horror of what has happened to some children.
Please get to a place of peace regarding what you can do. The forces are very powerful and you have very little positive influence over what is going on. Her having sex out of pity for your frustrations is problematic because if she feels "used" for your sexual pleasure this could symbolically reenact her childhood trauma and serve to unconsciously confirm that she is only good for someone else's sexual pleasure.
I am sure this is not what you wanted to hear, but even I cannot get nine women to produce a baby in one month. There is a reason why there is face to face psychotherapy.
A: They have to be pretty damn tight. The best ones are firm rubber with nubs that push into the corpora cavernosa -- I don't know a specific place to find one. Try installing the velcro closure when your penis is pretty limp, then stimulate.
NEVER EVER use an inflexible one, like a metal ring. It can so effectively trap blood that you cannot detumesce and the only recourse is to go to an emergency room to have them stick a syringe in your penis to suck out enough blood to get the ring off. Not Fun!
Have safe fun!
a., desperate for advice
A: Dear A., It IS society that has internalized your sense of shame. For centuries people have been sexual soon after puberty. In some societies it is expected that an uncle will teach a young woman about intercourse (by doing it) soon after she starts her menstrual cycle. In many European countries a man would not marry a woman until she got pregnant (presumably by him), and in some cases, until she successfully delivered. Romeo and Juliet were young teenagers and it was quite common for young men and young women to marry soon after puberty.
My book "SEX: What Every Young Woman NEEDS to Know" emphasizes that it is a mistake to have vaginal intercourse before you are emotionally ready to handle the event, but many people misestimate. You don't know except in retrospect, and many women have regretted waiting too long.
I encourage you to re-think some of your conclusions. You are ashamed that you couldn't wait -- until marriage? Because people vary considerably in their preference for their frequency of sex, those who marry without sexual experience run the risk of sexual incompatibility. In those cases, the choices are to divorce, suffer in silence, have affairs, or feel either constantly horny or constantly hounded for more sex.
When you say that you can't seem to control your hormones or sexual urges, I suggest that you acknowledge that intercourse provides you with a wealth of rewarding emotional and physical pleasure, and that it is societal and/or religious messages that label you a slut. Your boyfriend has intercourse with you exactly the same number of times you have intercourse with him. Does that make him worthy of some insult name that is the male analogy of "slut?" It is our double standard that labels you a "slut" and him a "stud" for EXACTLY the same behavior.
The worries that go along with having sex? Make absolutely sure that none of any of the liquids that come out of his penis get into your vagina at any time (including when you are having your period), and calibrate your expectations. The chances that you and he will stay together and get married are about one in 10,000, and for any number of reasons (lack of maturity shows up in all kinds of ways). If you are worried, are your worries grounded in reality?
If you have a favorite aunt or some other mature woman you can talk to, I strongly urge you to do it. Alternatively, check out Planned Parenthood or your county health department for someone you can talk with about this.
Among my questions are:
Are the described activities harmful in any way? Is
penetration by a dog possibly infective or otherwise
not safe? Is this as common as it would seem to be?
I have no desire to stop, for I am not causing pain to
the dogs at all, and I feel minimal shame, but I want
to be sure that this is truly safe for me. Could you
please post information about bestiality on your
Thanks very much for your time, and for making this
A: Dear R,
In this morning's San Jose Mercury News, there was an editorial about "meat free day," March 20, in which meat eaters were asked to abstain from consuming meat that day. The article, by a syndicated columnist, implores people to resolve the apparent discrepancy between the caring and loving devoted to dogs, cats, hamsters and other furry creatures, and the insensitivity to raising cattle, pigs, and lambs for slaughter, often under seriously inhumane conditions.
Bestiality has been with us in fact and in mythology for millennia, and I suspect that it will continue to occur for many more. The dichotomy between "making babies" and "all else" renders birth control, homosexuality, masturbation, and bestiality (and a few other things) degrees of abominations and sins against humanity. Considering rampant global over-population, the sincerity of long-term gay and lesbian relationships (to say nothing of the popularity of short-term homosexual liaisons), the health effects of orgasms, however achieved, and the loving attention many people pay to their pets, especially those with whom they are being sexual, it seems to me that what is permitted and what is prohibited could well stand reappraisal.
I think there is a parallel between the animal treatment and how humans use their bodies. It is curious to me that we, as a society, at least condone violent physical sports, some of which, like boxing, I am hard pressed to consider sporting, while we prohibit prostitution. Why can one person use her body to win an olympic gold medal to great acclaim, while another is jailed for using her body to engage in a somewhat loving act sometimes with another person who is incapable of obtaining such experiences in other ways? And isn't it curious that if a man spends $150 while on a date, for dinner, wine, theatre, and drinks, then consentually has sex with his date, that is "dating," but if he joins her and gives the $150 to her, and they then have intercourse, she is a whore and he is a John?
Caution: If you are distressed about this topic, stop here.
While it is clear that sex therapists do not see a representative cross-section of the population, it is the case that by making the therapy environment safe to bring up absolutely anything, that information is volunteered, frequently prefaced by something like "I have never told anyone this before ... ." I suspect that "puppy love" as one writer who interviewed me called it, is much more common than most people think. I have had many women explain their canine vaginal and clitoral licking technique, drizzling honey or chocolate where they want the tongue to go, and several men have described putting peanut butter on their penis or on their anus to obtain licking where they wanted it (I cautioned you ...). In no sense is there coercion or the intent to harm the animal. Indeed, many people report that they are especially attentive to the animal that sexually stimulates them.
I have been informed that animals are asymptomatic carriers of certain bacteria and viruses that cause infections in humans, but I have never had a patient who engaged in dog licking or canine penile - human vaginal penetration report any medical complications from the activity. If any reader has information about this I would appreciate receiving it. Further support for the low risk comes from the widespread event of a dog licking a child's face or hands (especially if ice cream is present), with no ill effects on the child.
One male patient described an event in which he received anal penetration by a dog's penis, and that it was overwhelmingly disappointing, and several women have described the positions in which they achieve clitoral, labial, or vaginal stimulation. And several truck drivers have described numerous sightings of women in the front passenger seat of a car slouched down, naked from the waist down, with a large dog spread eagle on them, front paws over the shoulders and hind paws on either side of her hips.
I believe that it is also critically important to differentiate among different kinds of bestiality. Tying the hind legs of an animal to a fence, then penetrating it vaginally or anally while it shows obvious signs of distress is animal cruelty which happens to be sexual for the perpetrator. Letting a dog lick peanut butter from a clitoris or freshly washed anus, which the dog appears to do repeatedly and eagerly, seems to me to be an innocent extra food treat for the animal. The fact that it stimulates the human is coincidental to the animal, and even if also rewarded by verbal "good doggie" praise, may be the same to the dog as "fetch" or "roll over."
Thus, Harmful? As an occasional variation on sex, I see no individual psychopathology. To the relationship? That depends on the significant other's reaction. Some men are deeply hurt; others get really excited just watching (men are such visual creatures when it comes to sex). And some men couldn't care less one way or the other. To the animal? I see no harm as long as the animal is not coerced (and does not become obese from too much peanut butter). Infectious? The possibility exists but it seems that the probability is quite low. Common? We really don't know. This is not the sort of thing people mention in casual conversation. But Controversial? Very. Remember: to some it's OK to pen up calves and slaughter them at three months for veal, and it's OK to let a dog lick peanut butter off your finger, but it's not OK if the peanut butter happens to be on skin of a sex organ. Perfectly understandable, right?
Reader comments? Data on diseases?
Dr. Chance Fisher replies:
Brucellosis CAN infect dogs, but it is not common. It is mostly found in herd Animals (cows, swine, sheep). Transmission is veneral, congenital, or by ingestion of contaminated materials. There have been reported cases of dogs infecting humans, but very, very few. Most cases involve herdsmen or veterinarians that are in close contact with urine, milk, or fecal matter of the infected animal. If it was extremely easy to catch, every child that was licked in the face by a dog would be infected. There are a few other bacterial diseases that are zoonotic to humans (Leptospirosis), but the most commonly reported "problem" when engaging in sexual activities with animals is parasitic infestation (i.e. tapeworm). In the past Brucellosis was not sucessfully treated by vaccination, but vaccinations today seem to handle the disease quite well.
A: Dear Gemini,
The problem with specializing in the psychological aspects of sexuality is that I coordinate many cases with medical doctors, and learn a great deal about the medical aspects of sexuality, but I literally don't know what I don't know. Thus, please accept the following as hypothesis, not medical advice.
In many of the women I have seen for psychotherapy who had cyclical sex drive, there was either a marginal hormone imbalance or a deficiency of certain hormones. Thus, my first suggestion is to ask your doctor if a hormone assay would be in order. In regard to the infections, I regret that I can be of little value, because I have heard exactly the same thing: that the thrusting of intercourse facilitates the transportation of bacteria into the urethra, causing bladder infections, and that the changes in the intra-vaginal chemistry cause an imbalance in the usual flora and fauna of the vagina, allowing yeast to proliferate.
Wanting sex "during [your] period and when [you] ovulate" is common separately, but perfectly plausible together. You are hormonally predisposed to want sex when you are ovulating (that was part of how humans reproduced before the mechanism of impregnation was understood), and I suspect that you are either psychologically predisposed or physiologically rewarded for having orgasms while ovulating. Many women who got the messages that pre-marital pregnancy was catastrophic, and that "you can't get pregnant from intercourse during your menstrual flow [not true]" are very horny during their period (psychologically predisposed). And some women report that the contractions of orgasm partially alleviate menstrual cramping, and that the endorphin release dulls the ache (physiologically rewarded).
It sounds also that your husband is failing to assume sufficient responsibility for his part of sex and making it not noxious (bad breath), and that you are enabling him to do so by not being assertive enough. I suggest that you both read "When I Say No I Feel Guilty" by Dr. Smith, or at least that you do so, and that you negotiate sharing responsibility for the condom (take turns putting it on) and for his breath (you tell him when he has to brush his teeth and gargle; he does it).
In regard to the progressive reduced response, your reptilian brain is getting accustomed to the same old, same old. The antidote is to vary stimulation routine -- switching among oral sex, clitoral stimulation by you, anal sex, and vaginal intercourse, and anything else that you respond to, such as nipple stimulation.
Please let me know what happens.
3/16/00 She writes again: Dear Dr.Fitz, thank you very much for your response.
I would be glad to tell you what happens next, but
nothing really happened. My husband read my question
to you and your response, and was chewing gum
constantly since then, but we have not have sex yet.
As I already said, he has low sex drive (although he
does not think so) and we have sex 1, 2, sometimes 3
times per month (if I am lucky, and now I have this
problem with yeast and bladder infections) and I
always should initiate it, otherwise it won't happen
at all. In the beginning of our relationship I was the
one who initiated sex for the first time (I did not
know that he was a virgin, he told me about it later),
and probably he thought that I would always do so. In
the beginning of our marriage I initiated sex often
because I was very attracted to him physically, but he
preferred watching TV or reading books to having sex.
Such attitude decreased my sex drive and my desire for
him. All new things we tried were my initiative. Who
started using sex toys? Me. Who introduced anal sex to
our sex life? Me. He does not like it as strongly as
me, although my rectum is always very clean. He
started masturbating often when he was 12 or 13 and
continued to do so throughout our relationship. He
does not think he has a problem, but I think so,
because his frequent masturbation decreases his desire
ho have sex with me. He does not believe it and
continues to masturbate. What do you think about this?
I am 33 and this is a prime time for women when their
sex drive and ability to enjoy sex increases, why it
does not happen with me? I am in great shape - 112 lb,
5'5'' and look 5-6 years younger. Your advice is to
ask my doctor for a hormone assay, and I will probably
do it, but I think that there is just no chemistry
between my husband and me. Last summer, I was
attracted to my boss (he did not know about it of
course), my sex drive was much higher than usual, and
our sex was much better. Is there any way to return
this attraction to my husband I had 12 years ago?
Should we go to sex therapist (I donít think he will
go though)? Unfortunately, we live in Canada and canít
go to you, and I donít think there is another sex
therapist as good as you. You are the greatest!
A: One can never return to the same precise attraction in the beginning of a relationship because we humans are powerfully motivated and energized by novelty, and that goes away as you get to know someone. Going to a sex therapist will help if he is inhibited or otherwise has internalized some message about the evils of frequent sexual behavior (or even enjoying himself), but if this frequency of sex is what his hormones and his comfort zone dictate, he will treat more frequent sex as an imposition. Thank you for your kind comments regarding my ability as a sex therapist, but I know that there are other good ones out there.
One afterthought: Because everyone needs an orgasm at least every 3-4 days, you need to make sure that you take care of that. Especially around and after menopause, having regular orgasms is correlated with the rate at which the vaginal mucosa thins and lubrication is reduced (use it or lose it).
I am a happily married woman, 43 years old, and have multiple personality
disorder. One of my woman friends and I talked about masturbation the other
day (a subject I have never discussed with anyone). She said she had some
x-rated movies, so we watched one together and we both masturbated during
it. I discovered that watching 2 women in the video did not do much for me,
and that I don't want to have a sexual relationship with my friend. We did
not watch each other masturbate ... the lights were out, video on, we were
sitting on the couch, and as far as I know, neither of us looked at the
But I have problems with this. First, it is not something I want
to tell my
therapist about. I did tell him about the video watching, but not about
masturbating during it while my friend was present and doing the same thing.
Second, I didn't tell my husband, who would just croak if he found out.
Third, I get the feeling my friend wants me to do more, which I don't
to do. And I told her that. But she seems real eager for us to watch these
videos a lot and I'm thinking maybe the fact that I am doing it with her
makes it more okay for her to do it somehow.
Anyway, what I want to know is if this is cheating on my husband?
stop doing it? I'm not worried about watching the videos. In fact, they
are boring, now that I've seen a few of them. I am worried that this
masturbation thing with another person is wrong. I never did that before.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to this. It is really worrying me.
A: OK, readers, this is in the realm of "I can't make this stuff up." What a great question! Seriously! Before any other comment, consider this question in a slightly different context. During a bachelor party, a stripper jumps out of a cake and torments the poor groom. He has absolutely promised his wife-to-be that he will not have sexual contact with anyone except her, so the stripper tantalizes without touching. He, however, reveals his raging erection, and masturbates while watching her gyrations, and most of his ushers attending the party follow suit. Is the groom being "unfaithful" to his bride? Are the other guys in the room doing a homosexual thing? I hope that the vast majority of readers would put this in the "boys will be boys" category and dismiss it as harmless at least, and "male bonding" at most! Does this help answer this question?
I see a possible red flag when you say it is not something you want to tell your therapist about. Why? If it's fear of being judged in a negative way, you at least need to discuss with your therapist that there are some things you either find difficult to say or at the moment cannot bring yourself to tell the therapist. Ask her or him to help you feel more safe and comfortable. This is important because I suspect that this is not the only isolated item, and in order to help you most, your therapist has to play with a full deck.
By the way, I had a male therapist who claims to be an expert in sexuality tell me that he thought there was something wrong about homosexuality, that it distressed him if one of his patients walked into the public men's bathroom in the office building while he was standing at the urinal, and that he was offended and embarrassed when a woman discreetly breast fed her infant in therapy without asking for permission from him first. Many therapists have issues and some are hypocritical.
Are you sure your husband would croak? Some would get massively turned on.
You have the prerogative to decide what to do with your body, and to be accountable for your decision. If you don't want to continue this sexual social experiment because your conclusion from the data is that you tried it and wish not to repeat it, thank your friend for being part of expanding your self-knowledge, and respectfully decline to join her doing that again. It is probably eroticizing and validating for her to have you there, but she needs to be responsible for her behavior, and you need to be responsible for yours.
Are you cheating on your husband? If you have a monogamous contract, it would be cheating if there had been physical contact of a sexual nature with someone else, or if what you did diminished your frequency or intensity of sexual contact with your husband. Some would also include in cheating a powerful wish to be physical with someone, even if sexual contact was not possible (such as a log distance phone sex or phone "love" relationship -- or e-mail or letters, etc., for that matter).
Should you stop doing it? That is, of course, your decision, but you have said that your friend wants to do more which you don't wish to do, so what's in it for you to continue?
The idea that masturbation with another person (in the room) is wrong probably has its origins in both prohibitions on touching yourself (grow hair on the palm of your hand, go blind, etc.) and modesty (if you HAVE to do it make sure no one sees you). For your information, for decades, sex therapists have conducted group therapy sessions for "preorgasmic" (euphemism for anorgasmic) women (and some for men) in which all the women get on mats on the floor and stimulate their clitoris, moaning and writhing ad lib. The synergy facilitates attaining orgasm.
Also, for those of you who don't know, a "circle jerk" is an extremely common pastime of adolescent boys, where they form a circle and each masturbates the boy to his right. I have NEVER seen a man sexually distressed from having been in a circle jerk when younger.
3/13/00 She e-mails back: Note: For those not familiar with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD, now called "Dissociative Identity Disorder"), her reference to an "alter" means one of her alter personalities; I am sure that "T" is her shorthand for "therapist," and that btw is e-mail abbreviation for "by the way."
I LOVE your answer. And I really appreciate your response!
what I thought -- especially about marital fidelity. I watched those videos
and I learned something important: I'd always wondered if I was bisexual
because my fantasies sometimes included women. But now I know I'm not.
First, my fantasies are better than the video. Second, I have no desire to
take this any further with my friend or any other female. I don't actually
feel anything one way or another about sex with women -- no desire and no
disgust. It's okay with me, just not my thing in real life. I told her
that, btw, and she persists with little hints.
As for telling my therapist. Yes, I am afraid he will think less
of me. I
am an evangelical Christian and so is he. The added wrinkle is that last
week a mystery alter offered to give him a blow job, show him her breasts,
and spent the whole session talking very frankly about sex. Including this
stuff. I am very fortunate because my T, although a former pastor and 65
years old, is "not in the judgment business". He leaves that up to God.
But I still don't want him to think less of me -- the goody-goody host in
this sytem of many. The transference is definitely that my T is my father
(the perfect father). BUT I will tell him about the increased sexual desire
thing I mention below.
I did tell my pastor about it yesterday. Before you die of shock,
big church and he hasn't a clue who I am. He said watching x-rated videos
is a sin (don't you love the absolute black/white nature of that
statement!). That 2 women masturbating together is "bizarre" but he did not
characterize it as a sin (I found *that* bizarre since he is a very
conservative Christian). And his view on marital fidelity is the same as
yours (and mine). And of course two women actually touching each other is
perverted and sinful. He didn't attack masturbation (but he calls it self
stimulation) ... probably because I said that everyone does it and he
figured it would do no good to persuade me differently, and certainly no
harm to me to do it. Anyway, I'm sure I blew his mind with our little chat!
I did not mince words -- spoke frankly! (Until that alter talked to T so
frankly, I never did talk about sex -- now I don't mind for some reason.)
I also told my friend that I did not want this to go further, that I
not watch those movies with her any more. This is because the movies are
boring (or at least a regular diet of them would be) and because she is
still dropping hints and I am uncomfortable with that.
Another wrinkle is that I have not had sex with my husband in
year. This is not good and I have no idea why but I have to convince myself
to have sex with him. Afterwards I think well, that's not so bad. This is
*my* problem ... my husband has done nothing wrong. But ... during this
yearly time, I get so all I can think about is sex. Hence the videos, the
experimentation, etc. And constant sexual desire. Last year my husband
told my doctor about it and the doc thought I might have a brain tumor --
sudden unexplicable increase in sexual desire is one symptom. That is not
what is going on here! Being a multiple, I have a feeling that it has
something to do with the compartmentalization of feelings and purposes (ie.,
one is intellectual, one is social, one is in charge of anger directed at
me, one is in charge of expressing anger at others, one is sexual, one is
spiritual, many are children) *and* possible childhood sexual abuse. It is
undeniable that MPD is caused by severe, ongoing childhood trauma (usually
sexual abuse is a component of that).
And yes, my husband would croak! The man thinks that watching
movies and reading porn (even Playboy, which is pretty mild) is immoral. He
is Mr. Missionary Style all the way. Kind of boring, but since I'm in this
mood, I'm going to try to loosen him up ... get him to try something new!
Both my therapist and my husband warned me, from some now-forgotten
innocuous comment I made, that they were concerned my friend would make a
pass at me. My husband finds out what was suggested and he will have plenty
of hurtful comments to make to my friend ... and she doesn't need that.
What she needs is a mother and she used to treat me like I was her mother,
and I think she's sexualized it because she wants motherly affection. And I
have 4 very young children and am definitely motherly. Or at least that's
part of it.
I love your website because I learned so much about sex! It is
find someone who will talk about it frankly and with good judgment, instead
of turning it into a religious/moral travesty.
Gee, I'm sorry I turned this thing into a novel. I am notorious
a short story long! Thank you again, though, for taking the time to respond
to me, for being so understanding, frank, and honest about your views. I
really appreciate it and you have helped me more than I can say ... I am no
longer confused about that particular situation. Plus, talking about sex
doesn't seem bad now! I bet your clients are relieved to find someone to
talk to who is so open about it.
A: Dear "S"
"Fritz" is a German first name and the name of a cartoon cat. I am neither. The sarcastic dictionary defines a nymphomaniac as "any woman who wants to have sex more often than you do," and "you" can be either male or female.
The criteria include not only frequent sexual activity, but the essential requirement of being dissatisfied or unsatisfied soon after the sexual contact. There are very few nymphomaniacs, and they are quite pathetic because they truly believe that the next sexual situation will be satisfying, and it never is. The term absolutely does not apply, as you note, to a woman ("girls?") who really enjoys sex and likes to be sexual frequently. Being satisfied in the moment and attracted to being sexual again (positively motivated) is different from going through the motions, feeling disappointment, and being essentially driven to be sexual again as soon as possible (motivated to deal with negative emotions).
Female Sexual Arousal Disorder: Persistent or recurrent inability
attain, or to maintain until completion of the sexual activity, an adequate
lubrication-swelling response of sexual excitement.
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Persistently or recurrently
(or absent) sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity.
Is there anyway she can be cured from these two disorders?
A: The first step is differential diagnosis. A hormone assay would be first to check for hormone imbalances. If a medical doctor can find nothing amiss the next step is assessment by a sex therapist. In the absence of sexual abuse or excessive religiosity, childhood messages, inhibitions, etc., it might end up that you are just on the low end of the sexual interest normal curve.
That having been said, I tell many men and women to "just do it" (get sexual stimulation and experience orgasm) every 2-4 days, and find that within 3-10 weeks they are "jump started" and look forward to sexual activity. Considering the lack of arousal, you will likely need both supplemental lubrication (KY liquid or Astroglide or Albolene unscented moisturizing make-up remover) and probably also a vibrator to stimulate her clitoris.
But if some of the psychological factors are present, they need to be dealt with in therapy.
I was cheated on (see other letter) and didn't know it until afterwards. Now this known infidel is hooked on porn. He refuses to give it up and tells me that what he does is none of my business. He actually got offended that I checked on him the last time he furiously denied visiting porn sites. I can't just take his word when I don't even have to look for the stuff. Today, I was pulling up my son's mailbox for him, when SEXLUNCH appeared in the address bar, with .jpg, which I pulled up later. Full page teenager, no pants, bent over.
I know he's lying about the porn. He makes empty promises to stop. He doesn't try, or-if he does-he can't make it even a full day without it. I want to overlook it, but I can't.
Does he need to hide it better or do I need to accept it and just believe that every man must have multiple women?
Oh, and here's a big thing, too:
When my first husband (the perpetrator) and I were in marriage counseling, the therapist (Sue) said this:
An adolescent male tends to have two very much separated views of women. There's the kind of woman you fuck and the kind you marry....Well, "good girls" and "bad girls" is how she put it, but you get it. Anyway, as the boy matures into a man, he usually melds these two pictures together to come up with the accurate and true picture, which is this:
Every "good" girl is sexual and every "bad" girl can be domestic. A full woman, a mature woman, who is in touch with her sexuality, is both girls in one. I agree with her thoughts on this. It's true for me, anyway. I see myself as fully funtioning in every area and I know that the girls he's looking at go home at night and cook dinner, just like me, in many cases. They don't care about him at all. They're just making money, but he looks up sites on celebrities he likes and searches for nude pictures of them, too. He denies all of this.
Having this view, I see my husband as a sexual adolescent and it is affecting our marriage and not just the sex. How can I continue to love and respect a man that is still a boy sexually?
I do still love him, but he's really pushing me away with this and he says it does nothing for him....so how can he say and do all of this and still love me?
I don't want a divorce, but I can't have my son turn out to share his immature view of women and feel that I've done well raising him. I can't have my daughter growing up thinking it's OK for a husband to get sexual satisfaction from anywhere he wants...I don't want that kind of husband myself.
A: It seems to me that he is being extremely disrespectful, immature, and selfish. Your concerns are very real, and I concur that this must have influences on the children.
It is obvious to me that it "does something for him" and his insistence that it does not I translate into "leave me alone to do what I want."
This has already had a negative effect on your self-esteem and the longer it goes on unchanged, the more you will spiral.
I suggest finding a male sex therapist (he can too easily dismiss a female) and drawing a line in the sand. While you say you don't want a divorce, five into four won't go. Either he continues this and you put up with it (for now) with a predictable progressive loss of self-esteem, or you demand that he change and he does, or he refuses to and you divorce. It sounds as though you have exhausted all the "self-help" avenues and you now need to appeal to the professional community.
Please let me know what happens.
3/9/00 She writes back: I think we had a significant breakthrough just last night! My son was outside playing with his friends and our daughter was asleep (baby) and he came downstairs after a shower, wrapped only in a towel, which is a huge turn on for me. I pushed him into the downstairs bathroom, kissing him, yanked off the towel, and went down on him. (This was before I read your response...I figured from the things he was watching that he wanted me to be aggressive...which I think is OK, even satifying to me, just to have variety).
Anyway, towards the end, he had the hardest erection I've ever seen him have. His thighs and his derier were also clenched rock-hard. When he reached orgasm, I was able to swallow it (I think it might be what he eats that effects whether or not I can swallow) and he came and came and came. He was screaming. He normally doesn't make a peep. He was clutching at the wall and I thought he'd tear the doorknob off with his other hand. I stopped at one point and asked if it was hurting. He screamed "No!" He was left absolutely breathless and flushed to the earlobes. I thought I had done very well and was quite pleased with myself, thinking "let a picture do that!"
Later that evening, he was acting kinda weird and he out of the blue says "I don't think I want you to do that anymore". He went on to describe the sensation in the head of his penis as being acutely pleasurable to the point of being nearly painful. During the blowjob, he had asked "where did you learn to do this?" and then accused "you got this off the internet, didn't you?" Well, the fact of the matter is that I was just following his leads and my instincts and so I told him. I know that he enjoyed it tremendously.
The next morning, although he did pull up some thumbnails (only two), there were no blown up pictures, no videos, nothing. I think that something happened that afternoon that was emotional and not just physical. I think he had previously seen what he thought were great blow jobs and, because they were linked with the porn only, he felt "dirty" viewing them, which was the attraction to it. Soon after viewing these pictures, he experienced a fantastic blowjob with his wife, whom he loves, and felt an overwhelming guilt for hurting me, but not just from that. I think he actually felt for the first time that the porn was interfering with our relationship and maybe even felt wrong for viewing it. He doesn't want to see me in the role of whore, so he doesn't want a blowjob from me, even though that experience from me is not with a whore. He has told me before to watch what I say, because he doesn't want to be married to a whore.
Maybe it's a sign that he is beginning to see me as the whole picture, rather than as just the wife and mother that I've become. Maybe it just means he doesn't like blowjobs. I wish he'd go into more detail about how he really feels, but he is real real sensitive about the whole subject right now. I tried to get into it again with him this morning and he didn't want to talk about it. He looked very ashamed of himself. He wouldn't look me in the face until the subject was dropped.
I don't know whether to rejoice because the porn viewing was cut down this morning or mourn that he doesn't want me to make him cum in my mouth anymore (I really do like doing it...depending on my mood.)
I know it's difficult to say without in-person therapy, but what do you think-most likely-happened?
A: It is unethical to "diagnose" without examining someone, but what you describe sounds like a powerful confirmation of your hypothesis that he is seriously conflicted with the whore-madonna syndrome. His powerful response to the oral sex is an indication of the tension he must have felt -- tremendously eroticized by your actions, but probably also extremely conflicted over "letting you" do such a "dirty" thing to him. What happened is a two-edged sword, because while he was obviously extremely gratified by the great sexual stimulation (he got with the "whore"), he now must reconcile his desire to have it repeated (forget "Maybe it just means he doesn't like blowjobs") with his sense of revulsion of doing something so base with someone so pure (the "madonna").
BE CAREFUL: If he fails to integrate these two perceptions, he could polarize and either refuse to touch you sexually in any way, because it would remind him too powerfully that you have some non-pure sexuality in you, and touching you sexually would make him the "bad guy" who makes you dirty or defiles you, OR he could become seriously disrespectful and rough sexually, saying something on the theme of "OK, baby, you want to be my whore, my slut? From now on I'm going to do every dirty thing to you I want and you better not talk back." I am describing the approximate extremes of this polarization, but don't lull yourself that you're out of the woods yet.
The message he needs from you is that you are neither his whore nor his madonna, but an integrated woman who can be both saintly as a good mother in front of the kids and in public, and a "down and dirty cocksucker" who enjoys engaging in sex that SOME bluenoses would consider "dirty" in the privacy of your marital bedroom, and that one behavior does not contradict the other!
At the risk of repetition, he needs help if he can't reconcile these two images. If you were to come to my office I would see you both, then him several times, then you both several times (depending on behavior change).
p.s. All readers: You might find it educational to re-read this from the top, noting both the honest assertiveness with which she deals with this, and her different actions, in the sense of "If what you're doing isn't working, you need to do something different."
3/13/00 She writes again: Well, I think you're right on. After the described incident, we didn't have sex for three days. Now, I've been on a vaginal cream medication for that time and he did express concern about interfering with it, but the doctor said nothing about abstaining and I told him that. It could have been real concern for my health. I have a lot of "female" problems.
But also during that time, he went right back to the porn. I have clearly told him that I'm going to leave him if it doesn't stop, but he thinks he is now getting away with it. Even if he gets "caught", which he obviously has, he'll just get mad because I found it if and when I confront him again.
We made love this morning and I found out afterwards that he had viewed pictures of "mature"-what a joke!-women before coming to me. I knew it in my gut when he came to me, but he'll think I was just prying for no reason or out of distrust.
I think he underrates women's intuition. I know when my husband isn't really with me! I think I do, anyway. I'm not really sure myself whether it's real intuition or simply suspicion. I'd stop checking on him altogether if I could find nothing sexual (read porn-related) in his history every day for even a week!
I'll leave you alone for awhile, now. I know you must be tiring of the story, but this is what I'm going to do:
He's always asking for reassurance that I'm never going to leave him. The next time he asks "Are you going to spend your life with me?", I'll just say something like, "Don't you remember the deal we made? I told you I would leave if the porn didn't stop and, well...? If you'll agree to go to therapy with me, then we can work on this. Have you considered that it may not be just you? I'm not trying to "fix" you, I'm trying to stay married to you. If you do not stop viewing pornography immediately, completely, and permanently, and you refuse to go to therapy with me, then you give me no choice, because I cannot live with pornography in my life any more."
I'm scared, though. He'll probably throw me out, or threaten to and then stop communicating at all. He has a "like-it-or-leave-it" mentality when he is angry. Then he'll cool down and want me back. I can't keep leaving and coming back. I can't do that to my children. Besides, sooner or later, my family won't help me anymore. In fact, I think I'm already to that point. I've left him once before. We weren't married yet (that's why I left-I couldn't teach my son that "shacking up" is OK). He holds it over my head. I hear about my faithlessness every time we argue about anything serious.
I've never been in a relationship before where I had to threaten desertion to get results! I told my first husband, after years of verbal abuse, only once, "If you ever call me a bitch again, I will leave you." I got right in his face to say it, spoke quietly, and I meant it. He never called me any name again. I left because of the multiple affairs, after therapy. We got into therapy too late, because he-like my current husband-was afraid he might be asked to change. They both see a marriage therapist as being someone who is going to choose a side-probably mine-and blame every minor difficulty on him.
You've been kind to read all of this and respond to me. I hope the letters do help someone else with a similar problem, but I guess we're done now and there really does remain very little hope, if any.
I'll only bother you again if something major happens, like he mystifies me by agreeing to therapy or if I mystify him with the divorce papers.
I was sexually abused when I was 7 by a 21 year old which was never
spoken about and which I forgot about until a cousin of mine found out
and reminded me about it when I was 18, since then I think about this
guy who was a family friend and I am disgusted and would happily Bobbit
him if I ever see him again. So it's not as if it had any real meaning
in my teens but I was wondering if it has anything to do with me losing
interest in sex after a year or two with a steady partner?
I also tore very badly when I had mt first child and intercours was
painful for a good four years before I could relax and let him penetrate
me without pain. Maybe it's a psychological hangover from then???
I would love to have sex as frequently as my husband desires but boy
really is creating huge pressure on both of us and is a constant
issue... if I enjoy it so much when it's happening then what's the
problem with getting started? Help please before he decides to get it
A: Either of those traumas could successfully interfere with your enjoyment of sex.
For self-help try masturbating every 2 to 3 days to orgasm -- that will possibly "make" your body sensitive to the endorphin deficiency and result in your desire for more sex with your husband. PLUS: Implement the protocol for Sexual Desire Discrepancy posted on page 20 at 2/11/00. Engage in other sexually intimate activities besides penile-vaginal intercourse! It doesn't always have to be vaginal penetration.
If that doesn't do it, you really would benefit from sex therapy. What you describe is unfortunately common, but most sex therapists (but not many general practitioners) are trained in the specific techniques to deal with it.
Please let me know what happens.
3/9/00 She replies: Doc,
Thanks I'm very grateful that you took the time to reply... I will try the
masterbation for a few weeks and then let you know how it's going... Thanks
again... you must be extremely busy and I really appreciate your time!
A: The first thing that I am ethically required to inform you about is that technically, somebody needs to contact child protective services (or whatever that is called in your county), to let a social worker make a determination as to whether this "suspected child abuse" is in fact worthy of investigation. In California, psychologists, nurses, doctors, teachers, and others, are classified as "mandated reporters" and are required by law to report something like this, under penalty of civil and criminal prosecution if they fail to do so. There has to be "reasonable suspicion," but most mandated reporters err on the side of caution (and self protection from prosecution).
That responsibility having been dispatched, as a parent, you have to decide whether the "cure is worse than the disease."
Primarily because she telephoned you and was perfectly straightforward describing what happened according to her, I tend to be of the opinion that her version is more accurate. Considering both the inexperience of most 15 year old boys, and their narcissistic fantasies, it would be thoroughly consistent for him to report that she said she really had to check him out, that she successfully objected to his pulling his shorts up, that she thoroughly examined his penis clinically, and that he misinterpreted that as intended to be sexually stimulating. The allegation that she was watching him through a crack in the door is very likely flattering self-aggrandizement , and her return to the room just as he was ejaculating could easily have been coincidence (or her lack of patience considering what he was doing). A major psychological inconsistency is the implication that she is both a pedophile (likes to touch), and a voyeur (likes to watch).
Her account sounds professionally clinical, and seriously inconsistent with the behavior of a pedophile. Pedophiles, and some are women, are eager to repeat their experiences, try to maintain a low profile, and avoid getting caught. If she were to have behaved in an appropriate manner, the course of action consistent with a pedophile would have been to have said nothing about it, and if she were confronted, to discount it as a juvenile fantasy, appealing to her credibility as a nurse as superior to that of a 15 year old boy. Furthermore, it would be seriously self-defeating behavior for her to molest boys in her own school, because that could be easily detected. One such allegation is a fluke. Ten reports of inappropriate touching constitutes preponderance of evidence.
The letter of the law says that any sexual contact with a minor must be reported. The intent of the law is to protect minors from abuse and trauma. In many jurisdictions, any suspicion of sexual contact with a minor is treated as guilty until proven innocent. The investigation, examination, and evaluation can be many times more traumatic then the original abusive behavior, and can itself be the source of trauma if the original behavior was innocent.
If you reported that to me in my office in California, I would interview your son and develop impressions regarding the effect of this incident on him. If he was excited, embarrassed, and eager to describe it in detail (inference: he was eroticized), I would classify it as an adolescent learning experience, report it to child protective services, and provide to them my strong impression that this was ambiguous and not traumatic. If your son seriously resisted talking about, expressed significant shame and guilt, or exhibited any other short-term evidence of trauma, such has bed wetting, sleeping much more or much less than usual, dramatic changes in eating habits, unusual fingernail biting, or the emergence of stuttering, etc., I would encourage child protective services to launch a careful investigation.
In conclusion, considering the ambiguity, I suspect
that the majority of 15 year olds would chalk it up as an interesting adolescent
experience, and be the envy of their less experienced friends.
A: She doesn't have a penis so she doesn't know.
The smoothest way would be to pick up on any feedback she gives you -- harder, slower, faster, softer, etc. -- and lead off with "I really appreciate it when you tell me what feels better to you, and I think it would feel better when you give me oral sex if you were to move your mouth up and down in addition to sucking.
The error in thinking is to couch it in terms of "telling her she is not doing it right." If three women in a row love to have their nipples sucked and the fourth has very sensitive nipples and can't stand to have them touched, does that make you suddenly "not doing it right?" Always tell your lover what feels good to YOU and role model that you want her to do the same. Respect individual differences. (And, at the risk of stating the obvious, this applies to all lovers, regardless of gender or sexual orientation!)
(timeless) Q: We are both very fat; one of us or both of us is compromised in breathing or exertion limits; one or both has arthritis ...
A: When describing this to folks who are at risk for heart attacks or who are short of breath (like from emphysema, for example) I refer to this as the myocardial infarction position -- the least physically taxing penile-vaginal intercourse position.
She lies on her back. For the sake of clarity I will describe his head to her left, but it is a symmetrical position. She draws her knees up so her legs make a "V." He lies on his right side, 90 degrees out of phase with direction of her body, so they make a "+." He positions himself so his right hip bone is about under her left thigh. She drapes her left leg over his body and he puts her right leg under her right leg, and his left leg approximately on her right hip bone. When his penis is erect and she is lubricated enough, he moves his pelvis toward and away from her body rocking on the stationary right hip bone, and with his left hip bone describing an arc. The extent to which each can spread their legs determines penile depth. If she is fat and/or compromised, and he is not fat and is not compromised, she can hold her left leg in the air and he can rise up on his right knee and elbows to achieve maximum penile depth. As a variation on the theme, if he likes anal or prostate stimulation simultaneously, her right arm will probably be close enough to his anus to accomplish that.
Of course, if only one is compromised or at risk, that person is on his or her back on the bottom and the non-compromised person is on top and does all the motion.
A: Lie on your back. Get sexually excited (clitoral stimulation?). When you're feeling excited have him insert his middle finger, pad up, and gently push up while sliding it in and out and left to right from one inch in to all the way (as far as his finger will go comfortably). If you have a g-spot, he will feel something ranging from a bump the size of half a green pea to a raised area the size of a half dollar coin. Simultaneous stimulation of your clitoris and your g-spot -- how much is experimental -- can result in your having scalloping, porpoising, fluttering, etc., orgasms for 30 minutes or until you cry "Uncle" from exhaustion. Have towels under your butt and maybe a plastic sheet under them in case you lubricate copiously or experience female ejaculation. If you appreciate this advice, tell me what happens. Other readers also: Please share results whether orgasmic or not.
A: Considering that the average time from penetration to ejaculation is 90 seconds, your 15 minutes sounds pretty damn good. That is NOT premature ejaculation.
The techniques that help a guy go from 3 seconds to 3 minutes can also help you go from 15 minutes to 30 if you wish. Find the link to premature ejaculation on my web page.
-please help me
A: You cannot ejaculate without an orgasm. It is the involuntary muscle contractions of orgasm that squeeze the ejaculate -- fluid -- out.
I suspect that what you are describing is the clear liquid from Cowper's gland that accompanies sexual excitement before orgasm. It contains sperm so don't let that fluid get into her vagina.
A: The short penis position is any in which both of you have your legs spread. The closest crotch to crotch is a variation on the theme of you lying on your back, your feet drawn up so they are halfway to your butt, putting your legs in a "V" shape, with him on his side, your leg closer to his head over his hip or just above his waist, his legs on either side of your other leg. By rotating his hips he can enter your vagina as deeply as possible. Incidentally this is also the position of least aerobic demand.
Link to Answers #20
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