Sex and Relationships

Sexual Dysfunction

Answers to questions about sex therapy and sexuality

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

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Answer page #29

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Editorial note:  Some of the e-mails dated 1/22, 23, and 24 are uncharacteristically long.  If you have read much of these pages, you will notice that I RARELY publish a long e-mail (many times I don't have time to even read them and just delete them).  These are unusual and I posted them because I think, like all that I post, that they will be of interest to others.

EVERYBODY Read This:  Stalking Behavior
2/16/01 Q:  Dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

 I have a old boyfriend who is a doctor he has told me that I am still his
fantasy after 22years.
 He saw me 3 years ago. He wanted to meet me for a weekend. Last June.
However 2 days before he the meeting he called and said he did not like
the way he felt. So I was offended. He stating that he heart was raceing
and is pressure was up and he was very scared of me?
So I cancelled the trip. And disconnected my phone # because he told me
that he was masterbating to my voice on my ans machine. One year has gone
by. And this is the weekend we were going to see each other. Strange but
my pager voicemail keeps getting hangups. I wrote down the times and they
match to his old pattern.
But he won't talk after all this time it's something that is not going to
stop. And when he can not get in touch with me at all he will pay me a
visit. Can you tell me what is wrong with this guy????

   Thank You

A:  This is EXTREMELY dangerous and I urge you to contact your local police department and tell the detective bureau that you think you are being stalked.  This is a common pattern and usually escalates.  It is obsessional, delusional, and almost always gets violent.  That he is a doctor tells me that he might have more money than others for airfare, etc., and that he would be more likely to use drugs to overpower you.  Touch ANYTHING you receive from him -- or anything that looks suspicious in your mail -- with tweezers, and if it is at all heavy, call the bomb squad.  Your local police will fill in the details.

When are women at their sexual peak?
2/16/01 Q:  when or around what age is a woman's sexual peak?

A:  Women are at about 80% of their sexual peak around 17 or 18 years, gradually increase until menopause, then polarize.  Some increase in sex drive; others lose all interest in sex.

Men are at their peak at 18 or 19 and go gradually downhill until 80. The genders "cross over" in the late 30's.

Use husband of 24 yrs. for sexual release
2/14/01    Q:  good morning Dr. brief hx. married 24 yrs, my husband satisfies my every need except my sexual needs. i am not attracted to him physically or emotionally to reach a desire for sex.  for yrs i have masterbated in private for release, never have had an orgasm with vaginal intercourse.  lately, i am attracted to a man at work, and i have a male friend over the internet, here is where i have started getting aroused and after a short period i have shared this excitement with my husband by using a vibrator on the clitoris while he is intravaginal. my husband does not know he does not arouse me, and i can't stand sometimes to even have him try.  he would be devistated to learn that my sexual excitement is from just talking to other men and i am using him only out of despiration.  any advice would be greatly appreciated, because lately i need sex 2-3x a wk just for release.

A:  I have heard this with the genders reversed much more often than from a female.  On what would you like advice?  If this is stable and you are accepting the abysmal physical and emotional relationship because it is acceptable in the broad context of the entire relationship, what's the problem?  If you have a commitment to monogamy and will not engage sexually with anyone else, I think it is thoroughly functional that you think of other men and get excited.  And, because only about 32% to 40% of women achieve orgasm from penile-vaginal thrusting alone, your use of the vibrator while his penis is intravaginal is perfect!  If he is happy with your frequency of sex and what you are doing "works for you," what's the problem?

She replies:  the problem is , I WANT TO GO TO BED WITH ANOTHER MAN!  i want to feel the passion of love making, it's been so long. the last time i felt these feelings were 10yrs ago when i had an affair for the same reasons,  after that i was left clinically depressed with suicidal ideations and one attempt. i have been able to hold all this in all this time. and the feelings are again returning. this time i might not survive and think about it often. do you understand now?

A:  If your choices are not surviving because of suicide, or adultery, I know how I would choose!  Because it is possible, however, that you are depressed and are using the adrenaline rush and endorphins as natural antidepressants, I strongly urge you to get this assessed!  Please let me know what happens.

Penis sensitivity diminished with age
2/14/01 Q:  I am a 63 year old married male who continues to enjoy an active sex life.  About three or four years ago I began to notice some difficulty in gaining erections.  Following examinations by an endocrinologist and my urologist it was determined that my testosterone level had dropped markedly.  Over a period of time we tested several alternatives but I now use a combination of testosterone shots every three to four weeks coupled with viagra (50 mg).  While this is a bit on the cumbersome side, it does work.

My question relates to sensitivity.  Before this problem developed, the sensitivity of my penis was very good.  It allowed me to control movement but still have an orgasm whenever I decided to go that far.  However, now I notice that many subtle movements do nothing for me.  I must work harder to achieve the orgasm and cannot pause or delay or I will lose the feeling.  There seems to be little room for finesse or timing. I notice also that I am less likely to achieve orgasm through oral sex (although possible).  Can you enlighten me?  Many thanks.

A:  (Chance Fisher, M.D. replies:)  Decreased penile sensitivity is a normal part of the aging process. Starting at about the age of fifty and up, men require constant direct stimulation (longer foreplay) in order to maintain an erection and achieve top level sensitivity.  Some researchers feel that the drop in Testosterone causes not only the tissues to slack off on doing their job, but also cause problems with nerves in the penis.

A large number of age related health concerns also cause less sensitivity, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and medications you may be taking.

Alcohol and smoking also add greatly to the decreased sensitivity.

I have had several men tell me that using Viagra does impair sensation or changes what or how they feel the sensation.  This could very well be your case.  As far as oral sex goes...remember that you need constant stimulation.  The mouth may not be giving you enough stimulation and the use
of a hand may help.

I have heard that the use of peppermint oil rubbed over the penis increases sensitivity.

She always bleeds after vaginal and anal sex
2/8/01 Q:  My boyfriend and I have a HUGE problem. Everytime we
have intercourse I always bleed. It isn't my first
time or time for my period, so I don't know why it
keeps happening. We've tried anal and it still
happens. He knows I'm uncomfortable with this so he'll
try and joke about it and just call it our "problems"
but I know it bothers him. No matter if it is from the
front, back, or which of us is on top, it always
happens. I know he'll love me whether it keeps
happening or not, but I really feel weird about it.
Also I haven't had a period since August and the time
before that was April, that could have something to do
with it. We first started having sex in late November.
Please reply to this ASAP because I'm really tired of
our "problems."

A:  (Chance Fisher, M.D.)  Most of the time bleeding during or after intercourse is due to tearing
because of dryness.  Make sure you are well lubricated during both vaginal
and anal sex.  Other causes of bleeding are infections of the cervix and
uterus or benign polyps of the cervix.  It is very likely that your
irregular periods have something to do with the bleeding.  You need to have
a gynecologist perform a pap smear and complete pelvic exam to rule out an
possible infection of abnormal cell growth.

Married 5 years and never gets anything out of sex
2/8/01 Q:  My husband and I have been married for 5 years and I have never really
gotten anything out of having sex. My husband always is wanting to make
love, but I never am in the mood. I thought it was because I was scared of
getting pregant, butmy husband had a vicectomyand I still do not want to
have sex or get anything out it. What do you feel is my problem and what
do I do about it.

A:  It is not clear how much of this could be physical and how much psychological.  I suggest that you call this to the attention of your OB-GYN and ask for a hormone assay.  If that is OK then a vibrator to bring yourself to orgasm every 3 days for 21 days might kick start sexual feelings.

See my web site link to "Female Orgasm Matters," also.

Seeing a sex therapist would also be an excellent move.


Is there something wrong with me if I fantasize about naked little girls?
2/8/01 Q:  First off, I would like to thank you for being there for answering my questions about porn, masturbation, and any other questions I may have.  I have worried and been uneasy about these topics for years now, and you have been my mind at ease and I am a lot happier with myself.  Your answers to my problems, however short they are, have a been a huge help.  I think I always knew masturbation and looking at porn was OK, but I was too embarrassed and ashamed to talk about it with anybody that I lived in guilt whenever I masturbated and looked at porn.  But you (along with other experts and my girlfriend) have helped tremendously by just being there.
    Now that I've gotten that out of the way, lets move to the reason I am writing you this time.  I know that any fantacy is OK as long as it doesn't turn into a reality, but I feel particularly uneasy by one particular fantacy.  There are times I get turned on by naked little girls.  I don't know if it is the rush I get because child pornography is SO taboo or the fact that I played "doctor" a lot with a girl across the street when I was little, but I a lot of times I can get aroused by naked girls, especially posing in sexual positions.  I think I am a really good person and mean nobody any harm, especially children.  I think that I would make a very loving and nurturing father if I were to have children of my own some day.   I would never put and child in a positon where they could get hurt.  This is why I don't understand why I get aroused my naked children.  This started around the time I was 18 and I am now 23.  I would go months without thinking about it naked girls at all (or sex in general), but now that I have become comfortable with masturbation, I don't mind if I see a "naked girl" site on the Internet.  I don't think I am aroused by girls performing sexual acts on men or vice versa at all ... just them posing, but I am not sure.  Before I start to even confuse myself, I will just let you answer my question.  Is something wrong with me?  Thanks again.

A:  NO there is nothing wrong with you.  The unconscious, and sometimes conscious, aspect of young girls is USUALLY the power disparity.  They are "easy pickings" because you don't have to compete with other alpha males to be sexual with them.  The dynamic of age makes the man automatically superior, and the fantasy that the little girls like pleasing you appeals to your narcissism.  Just don't act on that.

You mentioned internet sites that show little girls. ALL READERS:  Please send me several sample URLs -- I have not been able to find any.


Self-help for vaginismus.  If anyone has self-treated successfully, PLEASE E-MAIL ME!
2/6/01 Q:  Dear Dr. Fitz,

               I'm a 17 year old girl who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Where I live, we don't have many sex therapists at our disposal, so I really
appreciate the fact that you have this set up.  Ok I'll get to the point.
About a year ago I lost my virginity and sex was normal, not painful in the
least.  I was taking birth control pills and we used a condom everytime.  I
started getting forgetful about the pill so I thought that going on 'the
needle'  was a better contraceptive for me.  So I got it and it was fine.
Until my boyfriend and I had sex.  It was so painful, I didn't know what had
happened.  Did I have an infection?  Was this a reaction from going on the
needle?  So I went to the doctor for a pap smear and explained what was
going on with me.  She told me about vaginismus, but regarded it as no big
thing.  She told me to pick up some KY jelly on my way out and to try and
relax while having sex.  She said it may be caused by my fear of getting
pregnant.  So I tried what she said and that didn't work.  It's still very
painful.. and I don't know what to do.  I can't go to a sex therapist
because there's none and even if there was, I couldn't afford it.  Is there
some way I can treat this problem by myself or with my partner?  Thank you
so much for reading this.   I understand that you must be very busy, but
I'll be waiting and hoping for a reply.  Thanks again.



A:  The self-help is part of the therapy approach.  The protocol is for you to do Kegel exercises (30 repetitions of squeeze one second, relax for three seconds thus 2 minutes total) while having progressively larger dilators in your vagina.  Some women use dildos of larger diameters; some use a butt plug, and some use a wine bottle that has a progressively widening neck.  The idea is to learn how to relax your pubococcygeus muscle for sex by learning what it feels like when it is tensed.

The entire Kegel exercise is posted within the excerpts from my book -- there is a link to that near the top of my web site home page.

I am blissfully unaware of whether women overcome vaginismus on their own. I have never had a woman report that she had it and fixed it herself.

In my experience, it is the combination of the self-help -- home experience every other day of using the dilators -- and dealing with the source of the anxiety in psychotherapy that works.

If you try this, make sure that the dilating object is very well lubricated; remember to take deep breaths, and slowly move the dilator in and out making sure that you "push the envelope" bu feeling some stretching, but not causing pain.   Some women report that they use they smallest dilator for 3-5 sessions; then the smallest followed by a larger one for 3-5 sessions, then the smallest for 10 squeezes; the middle one for 10 squeezes, then the largest (the size of their lover's penis) for 10 squeezes for 3-5 sessions.

It will take between 10 and 40 practice sessions (every other day) to dilate your introitus enough to receive your lover's penis IF self-help alone works.  If you get "stuck" and unable to get beyond a small dilation, make sure you do NOT traumatize yourself by causing pain.  That will only strengthen the vaginismus.

Please let me know if this is clear and let me know what you do and what happens.

47 year old male Roman Catholic virgin asks about masturbation
2/5/01 Q:  Doctor,
I am a 47 year old, single, hetrosexual male who's never been married
and is still a virgin.  I am also a practicing Roman Catholic and as
such very rarely masturbate.  I currently only masturbate about 2 or 3
time a year because of the immense deep seated feeling of guilt over
this act acquired over the years.  I would like to masturbate much more
frequently but the feelings of quilt and fear check the desire and limit
it to the infrequent times mentioned.  My question is this.  Is
obstaining from physical sex like this unhealthy?  Are there any healthy
benifits to frequent masturbation that I'm missing out on both
physically and mentally?  Would I be better to overcome my guilt and
masturbate more frequently?  Any information you could give me would be
deeply appreciated.
Thank you very much

A:  Dear RC,  In both genders, sexual excitement in general, and orgasm in particular, cause the release of endorphins from the pituitary gland into the blood stream, strengthening your immune system.  The absence of sexuality can cause prostate problems in men, and does cause thinning of the vagina and reduction in lubrication in women.   Endorphins are also released by aerobic exercise, laughter, and for a minority of the population, chocolate.

It is best to have an orgasm at least every 3.5 days for optimum health.  And you thought it was an apple a day that kept the doctor away!  If, however, the guilt causes stress, if it is severe enough, it will overwhelm the benefit from orgasm.  See a sex therapist.  You are a walking example of why I say "I love the Catholic Church.  Without it I'd lose 80% of my patient caseload."

Is bestiality a perversion?
2/2/01 Q:  Is beastiality still considered perversion? A friend of mine, heh-heh well
sort of a friend of mine, she's the woman my last lover left me for,sent an
anonymous inquiry to another list about this subject. The reason I knew it
was her was because she quoted word for word a line he pulled on me. This
guy has the idea that he can communicate telepathicaly with his dog. One day
we were lying there basking in the afterglow and he told me he felt sorry
for his horney dog. I suggested he get the pooch neutered and he reacted
like I had suggested he get himself neutered. It wasn't long after that that
my replacement showed up and I was shown the door. At this time I had no
idea he was into beastiality-he masturbates his dogs-and finding out what
fun I missed divides my emotions between feeling sorry for him and feeling
gleeful about not being the loser after all. Funny how you find out
sometimes that being the jilted one isn't so bad after all.

A:  The sexdoc takes the unpopular and very politically INcorrect position that he finds it quite curious that our society so casually condones horrible conditions for and painful and abusive treatment of slaughter animals, egg-laying hens, and the production of veal and enlarged livers for commerce (to name a few), yet goes into a knee-jerk outrage of perversion if someone is found to have put peanut butter on a body part for a dog to lick off, or, as in this case, is found to be masturbating his dogs.  I agree with the prosecution of the man who tied the back legs of cows to a stall then had intercourse with them, because the cows chafed their legs raw trying to escape (and I'll bet it was the bondage they were trying to escape).

Animals are quite simple and repeat experiences that they perceive to be rewarding.  Psychology 101 explains operant conditioning.  If the animal was restrained for the first experience but does not avoid a repetition, we reverse engineer that it was OK.  So if his dogs don't try to escape the second time he masturbates them, where is the harm?

I told you it was not politically correct.

2/5/01 She writes again:  On page 29 you ask "What is the harm?" I have to ask you this: how do you
get consent from an individual over whom you have god-like power? How do you
know that this animal is getting pleasure from this act or is doing it to
please his master, or even because he fears what will happen if he does not
do this? There is a serious communication barrier between the human and the
animal. There is also a built in inequity; if an animal tried to force or in
any way attempt sex with a human, that animal would undoubtedly be
destroyed. Sex with animals is at the least unethical.

A:  Young lovers often do not obtain consent for sex from those over whom they have only slight influence, much less "god-like" power.  Animals (and small children) are reward and avoidance machines, as those of us who spent time in the "rat lab" learned oh so well.  Most domesticated dogs are approval oriented but all avoid pain (unless they are protecting their master).  There are many, many reports of a dog spontaneously licking pheromone spots (armpit, labia/clitoris, anus) and continuing to do so unless restrained.  And I know of no dog that has been destroyed for humping a leg -- and stories about that abound because it is extremely common!

I knew a middle-aged woman (the mother of a girlfriend when I was a teenager) who would consume large amounts of alcohol, then pet her cat on her chest while the cat alternated splaying front paws and extending claws.  I saw little dots of red appear on her blouse where it covered her breasts, and this woman would sigh with her eyes closed in what I inferred was masochistic sexual bliss.  If the cat changed position, she would reposition it so the claws were puncturing her where she wanted that.  I am sure both that the cat was oblivious to its master's response, and that this woman was deriving significant pleasure from this (she did it practically every evening).

As unpleasant a thought as it might be to some people, anilingus (literally licking the anus) is a fairly common practice, and after the recipient has bathed or showered, the possibility of that causing any illness is extremely small (many people have practiced it for decades with no ill side effects whatsoever).  And so I say that the dog cares not whether it is licking the peanut butter that is on its master's hand or anus.   It just wants the peanut butter.  It is we humans who impose a moral or ethical overlay on that event.

I have resisted the submission of jokes (there are plenty of joke web sites) but these are too dead on (and I haven't heard some which is a relief because I have heard/read so many)

Why do female black widow spiders kill the males after mating?
To stop the snoring before it starts.

What do you call a handcuffed man?

How does a man show he's planning for the future?
He buys two cases of beer instead of one.

What makes a man think about a candlelight dinner?
A power failure.

What's a man's idea of honesty in a relationship?
Telling you his real name.

Why does it take 100 million sperms to fertilize one egg?
Because not one will stop and ask for directions.

What is the difference between men and women?
A woman wants one man to satisfy her every need.
A man wants every woman to satisfy his one need.

Why do men want to marry virgins?
They can't stand criticism.

Why do men name their penises?
Because they want to be on a first name
basis with the one who makes their decisions.

What does a man call true love?
An erection.

Why do women fake orgasm?
Because men fake foreplay.

Do women need sperm in their vagina to stay healthy? ("But honey, it's for your health!")
1/31/01 Q:  Hello dear Dr. Fitzgerald,

I know and love your web site for a long time and always recommend it to my
friends. It is a great source of information on sexuality, probably the best
Recently I read an article in a newspaper about woman's health and
importance of sperm for female reproductive system. It says that women,
especially premenopausal, have to receive sperm regularly (vaginally) in
order to stay healthy. If they don't, they can develop tumors of the uterus.
This article states that sperm contains bioactive substances that can't be
received any other way. It also emphasizes that sperm should be received
vaginally because it absorbs directly into blood system and in case of oral
sex the sperm is destroyed in the stomach and does not have any positive
effect. My question is: Is this true? If yes, what if a woman receives sperm
anally, will it have the same effect as if received vaginally?
Another question is: What is healthier: not to have sex at all of have sex
without orgasm? For example, if a man wants to have sex in the morning and a
woman knows that she won't orgasm and does not have time to masturbate,
should she refuse or better let him do it? Will it have a negative effect on
a woman? How often a woman has to orgasm with or without sex in order to
stay healthy?

I understand that you are not a medical doctor, but you know a lot, and
maybe Dr. Fisher can help.
Thank you very much for you time.

A:  (Chance Fisher, MD)  It is absolutely not true that females need sperm in order to stay healthy.
Sperm has no known benefits in fighting cancer or disease of the
reproductive system.  Sperm is not absorbed into the blood stream at all no
matter what kind of sex you have.

As long as no one involved is injured or killed, sex of any kind is great.
A LOT of women have sex without orgasm.  It is better to have sex without
the possibility of orgasm than to not have any sex at all.  And no, it will
not have a negative effect on a woman if she allows her partner to have sex
with her and she does not orgasm.

Yeast infections, difficulty reaching orgasm, and an anal fissure
1/31/01 Q:  Dear Dr. Fitz,
I have a rather multi-layered complicated question, so I will try to be as brief as possible.
The issues I hope to address are issues of repeat yeast infections, orgasm specifically in relation to Ortho-Tricyclen, period problems in relation to the pill or exterior factors, and the effect of vigorous sex on anal fissures.

As background, I am 18, female, and have been having sex for two full years.  I have been on Ortho-Tricyclen ever since I started having sex.
The issue weighing most heavily on my mind is my inability to orgasm.  I am aware that many females have trouble orgasming, and I feel I have tried every method available short of buying a vibrator.  I have truly orgasmed only once--in two years of very regular sex.  The circumstance was a long night of lovemaking, intercourse, etc.; at the time we were not having intercourse and he was stimulating me with his fingers when I came, out of the blue.  I would not be able to pinpoint exactly how it came about.  I have tried nearly every sexual position, and have not been able to orgasm while masturbating, though I do respond to sexual stimuli very well and don't think it's a damper in sex drive.

In any case, I have been on Ortho-Tricyclen ever since I started having sex two years ago, and am wondering if perhaps this is having an effect on my ability to orgasm.  I have been able to find little information about this on the web.  As is the case with many people who write about this problem, I have often found the clitoris too sensitive to be touched after a while, thereby preventing any hope of orgasm.  This has become a matter of great concern with me--there is nothing more frustrating than watching a partner orgasm every time and having no ability to orgasm yourself!
I would like to let you know I do not have a regular sexual partner at the time being.
The second issue is that of repeated yeast infections.  I seem to have a yeast infection every other month at least.  I wonder if this has anything to do with Ortho-Tricyclen as well, or if it has anything to do with hygiene or diet.  Even minus the yeast infection, my vaginal odor has been stronger and more unpleasant in the past four months or so (coincidentally when I stopped having regular sex).

Thirdly, I have been having period problems in the past few months.  My period has become much darker, slightly lighter, but accompanied by more severe cramps than before.  Also, I have noticed that my period sometimes produces dark flakes in addition to liquid.  I missed my pill for four days straight once, and had to begin a new pack a month or so ago, and I'm wondering if some of the increase in severity of this has to do with that.  However, the symptoms were present prior to my mistake.

I have also experienced an anal fissure for the past eight months or so.  I have seen a doctor about it and they told me ways to treat it, but thus far I have been unsuccessful or unable to do all the treatments required.  The symptoms have varied in severity over the months.  I am wondering if vigorous sex could have anything to do with the anal fissure--I have not had anal sex, but a finger has been inserted into my anus.
Could any of these problems be related?
Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your reply,

A:  (Chance Fisher, MD)  It is very unlikely that your anal fissure was the result of a finger being
inserted into the rectum.  Fissures usually result from problems in bowel
functioning.  Anal sex can be tricky with a fissure, but vaginal or other
types of sexual activity regardless of the vigor is perfectly fine.  If you
do decide to engage in sexual activity involving the anus, lubrication is
the key.

Your ability to have an orgasm or lack of, is not likely to be due to the
Ortho-Tricyclen.  Have you ever heard the saying "If you want something done
right, do it yourself"?  Buy a vibrator.  These are our friends.  A man
cannot get you off if you can't get yourself off.

Yeast infections are not due to your birth control pills.  Yeast infections
are due to an imbalance of the acidic flora balance in the vagina.  Most of
the time bacteria cause the infections.  Make sure you urinate after sex and
that you make sure you clean the vagina and surrounding area carefully.
Yogurt can be applied  once a week directly to the vaginal walls to help
prevent the infections.  Half a cup plain yogurt and sit with it on for an
hour.  Wash it completely off and out and you're good to go.

With your other problems associated with your period and with these constant
yeast infections, it is worth a trip to the gynecologist.  You may have a
more severe form of yeast infection or a pelvic inflammation that requires a
more invasive form of treatment.   Likely, the period problems are natural,
unrelated to the pill.

As for the clots you see during your period, these are normal.  Small
amounts of uterine tissue will pass.  Some blood clots form and that is
perfectly normal.

Would frequent sex cause hormone production?
1/31/01 Q:  Dear Doc,
Please let me know if I need to ask an endocrinologist.  I am a 45 year old
woman and the question concerns whether or not a lot of sex, for me, 4 to 5
times a week, with multiple orgasms each time, 6 or 7, would increase what
hormones and how does that affect the body.
Specifically, does breast size increase and/or increased incidence of breast
tissues or cysts or any connection to breast cancer?  I have worked with
patients who had breast cancer but this question never came up in the study.
I also just asked my GYN and she had no answer for me.
Also is there increased release of testosterone or estrogen during sex?  What
hormones or other substances are released during sex?
Any information or references would be helpful.
Thank you,

A:  (Chance Fisher, MD)  Sex does not increase any hormones, but it does in a way regulate them.
Testosterone and Estrogen are naturally produced in a nice balanced cycle in
the body.  When you engage in sex, endorphins (natural pain killers) are
released from the brain.  These endorphins regulate the release of hormones
from the pituitary gland (Growth hormones and Gonadotropin hormones).  They
also tell the pituitary gland to tell the testes or ovaries to produce
Estrogen and Testosterone, but not in a large burst at that exact moment,
but in small amounts over a balanced time period.  There are about twenty
different chemical reactions that happen during sex.  The most important to
a woman is probably Oxytocin.  Oxytocin is what gives you that dreamy
feeling and causes you to relax.  It keeps tissues healthy bu promoting

Having sex, no matter what the frequency, does not promote hormones to
increase to the point that they will affect the body.  Specifically, an
increase in breast size or tissue does not increase the chance of breast
cancer.  Remember, men also get breast cancer and they have a very low
breast tissue mass.  Breast cancer involves the breast duct cells and then
invades the tissue.   It is thought to be a more profound cancer in women
because women are under the constant effects of growth hormones.

Sex is good for the body.  It keeps tissues healthy by regulating hormones,
keeps the immune system going, and it has been found that people who engage
in regular sexual activity tend to live longer.

Would the wife having sex with another woman possibly jeopardize marriage and family?
1/29/01 Q:  Dr. Fitz,

My husband and I just discovered your site so please excuse us if you have already answered this question. To give you a short background on us: I am 31 and My husband is 36 we have known eachother for 11 years and been married for 6. We have a wonderful son who is 3 1/2. We feel we have a strong, honest, trusting marriage. It is very important to us not to do anything that might jeopardize our marriage and family.

Recently we have meet a couple and the wife is bisexual. For the first time I am letting my self dabble with the idea of being with this person sexually. I have been attracted to women for as long as I can remember but have suppressed the feelings merely for the fact that I haven't really met anyone that enticed me enough to admit I truly have this desire.My husband is intrigued by the idea of me being with another woman and doesn't see any problem with it.

I love men and am not the slightest bit frightened of the fact that I will stop wanting my husband. Although a threesome sounds fun I know I could not handle seeing my husband intimately touch another woman. My ideal situation would be if I could be with another woman and our husbands could even watch if they wanted- but that is it. Am I being unrealistic?

Our dilemma is that although we like to be spontaneous and crazy we also want to be responsible in our actions as not to jeopardize our relationship or our family. My thoughts are that even though I would like to think I could have some level of sexual relationship with this woman it is going to be like poison to our marriage. A little here - a little there and next thing you know our trust for eachother is gone and we are dabbling with ideas that truly could ruin a marriage.  We can fool ourselves and tell eachother that we can handle this and maintain a certain level we are all comfortable with but is that realistic? How many marriages start with small, fun, innocent sexual flirtation and lead into untrusting, confused partners that get divorced?

Thank you for your time.

A:  Did you mean to say:

 "I love men and am not the slightest bit frightened of the fact that I will stop wanting my husband."  In the context of the rest of your message I speculate that this could be a classic Freudian slip!

To answer your question, what I really meant to say is that I am not afraid
that I will ever stop loving and wanting my husband sexually. Our love is
very deep. Therefore, I am very protective of our relationship and I do not
want to do anything that might poison it.

I will keep you informed on our decision and any outcome that may happen.
One thing for sure-this event has certainly opened us up to talk and discuss
things that I never thought I would be able to say. I feel very lucky I can
think and feel these things and be able to talk to my husband and he is
letting me feel comfortable with my feelings.
Thank You again.
I will keep in touch

Are you certain that you will stop loving him?  If that happens, will that jeopardize your relationship and your family?

The problem is that there are many women and men who have never had homosexual sex, and who think that their heterosexual relationship is what life is all about, then they have sex with their gender and suddenly discover what passion and "true love feelings" are all about.  That is one of the reasons one of my colleagues encourages everybody to have several events of sexual behavior with their own gender before getting engaged.

IF you have sex with her and IF you are sexually unresponsive to any man after that, THEN you will need to make a major life change or suffer in silence with a sham heterosexual marriage.  Only you can define what your quality of life is.

AND, IF you have sex with her and you find that reality is seriously underwhelming, you will likely regret the experience.

The most likely outcome simply from a statistical perspective is that you will enjoy the first experience even though it will be different from what you thought it would be, that you will be disappointed that the second sexual event with her was not better than you hoped, and that you will have such mixed feelings about a third that you will not have it.

Even if the husbands watch, the mere event of your not being monogamous plants a powerful seed of rationalization for them to also have sex outside the marriage, whether they tell you or not.

And you say that you could not handle seeing your husband intimately touch another woman.  What feelings come up for you if he approached you and said that he wanted to be sexual with another man -- and that you were welcome to watch?

I would very much appreciate your reactions to this and a follow-up of what you do and what happens and how you feel about it (and how your husband feels about it as well).


1/29/01 Q:  First I would like to thank you for your informative site.  I wish I had
something like this available when I was younger.
My husband and I have been married a long time. In fact, we are retired.
Our sex life is very healthy for the most part. In fact, we have sex
almost every day. There are no time schedules to keep so we take our
time and start our day this way. My husband, being older finds it more
enjoyable at that time of day.  Myself, I will take it anytime and all
the time.  I love to give oral sex to him, but for some reason, he will
not watch me do it.  I have asked him to watch, but he says he does not
need to watch.  Anyway, he just likes to stretch out on his back and
close his eyes.  He does this when I am on top also.  I know he enjoys
it because he keeps coming back for more every day. My question is do
you think he is having a fantasy about another woman while I am doing
this and that is why he won't look at me.  I am considered very
attractive and am a small woman twelve years his junior.  I stay in good
shape and most people think I am at least 10 years younger.  This really
bothers me that he will not look at me or talk to me while making love.
Thank you for your help and advice.

A:  As a behaviorist, my first question is "Why do you care if you are getting the behavior you want?"  I mean no disrespect, but he might be fantasizing about another woman he knows or a movie star or a Playboy centerfold or of animals or small children.  Whatever floats his boat!  I urge you to not interfere with his thoughts or be concerned.  As I have said in numerous places, humans are eroticized by novelty and are bored by the same old - same old.  Plus, many women have great gentle rape fantasies and that is not disrespectful to their lover!

It sounds as though your interpretation of his behavior -- not looking at you or talking to you -- in some way invalidates your youthful beauty.  I encourage you to rethink that.  I am reminded of a couple I had in therapy 15 years ago who were broaching sensitive subjects and deepening their honesty.  He said "Does it bother you that I find women in public attractive?"  She replied "Honey -- I don't care where you get your appetite so long as you eat all your meals at home."

If it still bothers you, please talk with an experienced therapist.  One or at most two sessions ought to address this unless there are deeper self-esteem and attractiveness concerns.

1/29/01 Q:  I met this guy on christmas eve, new years day he almost forced me to have
sex with him.  He pulled off my cloths as i as forcefully asking him to
stop.  He said that he just wanted to cluddle with out cloths on.  So i
said ok.  Next thing i know he was on top of me and forcing his penis into
me.  I yelled at him to stop but he was to forceful and much to strong for
me to handle.  I was bleeding and in so much pain.  He  Said that was the
best fuck he ever had because of how tight i was.  Now i am pregnant.  I
don't want this baby.  Having a baby is supost to be very special.  But i
am not in love with this guy.  He told me if i say one thing to anyone
then he will do it again but this time use toys and saws and make sure
that i die with pain!  Please help me and tell me what to do!  I am only
14 and he is 45!  I would tell me mom but she died in a car accident when
i was 12 and i live with my father.  He is very stern!

A:  You were raped and depending on your state's age of consent, molested.  I don't care HOW stern your father is, he needs to know and you or he needs to call the sexual assault unit in your police department.  The sooner you get this taken care of medically the less risk there is to your health.  If you can't tell your father, tell a teacher, your doctor, SOMEBODY immediately.  If you are afraid of your father's reaction, tell the adult you do tell so they can buffer the situation (get between you and your father to protect you from whatever you are afraid your father will do).  Don't worry about this guy harming you again.  He will be jailed for a long, long time.

35 year-old man drinks a 12-pack a day and has stopped wanting sex
1/25/01 Q:  I love my husband deeply.  But, in the last 3 or 4 years he has stopped
wanting sex.  We usually have sex once every 4 or 6 weeks, which I can not
deal with.  My drive is much higher.  I am 35 and he is 31.  Over the
course of the last few years I have tried everything and I have ran out of
options.  He is healthy and swears he is attracted to me and not having an
affair and I believe him. One thing I should note, he drinks about a
12-pack a day.  I suspect that is the problem, but maybe some people just
don't like to have sex.  I am frustrated and this is damaging our 10 year
relationship.  What should I do?  Also, I want a child and I doubt that
this will happen with this type of sex practice at my age.  Help.

A:  There is a good likelihood that consuming that much alcohol is interfering with his erections and it is extremely common for men with erection problems to avoid disclosing that by feigning lack of interest.

He needs to drastically cut back on the booze and possibly see an MD.

And YOU need to project how this is trending and decide if you want to stay married to a man who is so inconsiderate and selfish if he won't address this problem.


1/26/01 she writes back:  Thank you for your quick and candid response.  I am going to have to give
him a choice, me or budweizer.  He may not pick me, and I guess that's what
I am afraid of.  This is my second married and my first divorce was such a
nightmare, I had to leave state for fear of my life.  I am scared of so many
things, and I do love him.  But, at this rate, I will hate him in the end.
I got to do this.  I have been horney for 4 years now, enough is enough.
Wish me luck.

A:  And so, dear reader, as a student of behavior I have wondered why people perpetuate dysfunctional relationships when the handwriting is so clearly on the wall.  At the risk of sounding Pollyannish, isn't it good that she realized this after only 3 or 4 years of his not wanting sex.  On the flip side, though, too bad this was not addressed sooner.

19 year-old experiencing classic erection dysfunction.  Self-help is in my answer
1/24/01 Q:  Dear Dr. Fitz,

I am a 19-year-old guy, and up until about a month ago I was a virgin.
About a month before that, I began dating a girl whom I had been close
friends with and desired sexually. She is the same age as me, but has about
three years of sexual experience. When we began going out, she told me that
she would wait for me to decide when I was ready to lose my virginity,
instead of trying to constantly urge me to have sex with her. I fell in
love with her, and about a month into our relationship, I decided I was
ready to lose my virginity to her. I was very glad that I had waited until
I fell in love to have sex.
I was very excited when I told her that I wanted to make love to her. We
were both naked and I was extremely aroused. Then the problem occurred, one
that neither of us had expected to happen. My girlfriend got up from the
bed to go get a condom as I lied naked in eager anticipation, but as she
returned to the bed, I lost my erection. Nonetheless, she put the condom on
my only slightly erect penis, I entered her, and we began to make love. We
had to stop less than a minute later, however, because I was entirely limp,
and therefore having sex was not working.
This became an ongoing problem that continues even now. During foreplay, I
am very aroused, and then once we get ready to have sex, I become limp.
Once we realize that I've lost my erection, we both try to do things to
turn me on, like engaging in passionate foreplay. However, once I lose the
erection, I do not get it back so easily. It is extremely frustrating, and
always puts us in a bad mood. We know that my problem is not entirely
physical, because I do not have a problem with impotence when we are not
about to have sex. Furthermore, the problem does not occur when she
performs oral sex on me.
The first six times we tried making love, it did not work, because I would
become limp either while or after the condom was put on (sometimes by her
and sometimes by myself), or right before it would be put on. On some of
these occasions I actually did penetrate her, but it would end up not being
successful because the problem would occur either immediately or soon after
the penetration. The seventh time was the first time I actually succeeded
in having sex with her to the point of ejaculation. However, this time I
was not wearing protection. She told me not to worry, since she was on
birth control, and she didn't want to wait for me to put on a condom,
fearing that the problem might arise. After this successful time, we were
both happy, and thought that I had finally overcome my problem. However,
the next time we were going to have sex, and I went to get a condom, I
became limp again. It was extremely frustrating, especially since we both
thought that the problem was no longer existent. Since then the problem has
continued to arise in the same situations.
For me this problem is unexplainable. It is frustrating and upsetting
because it always turns what starts out as a really good time into a bad
time. It is also really annoying because I feel it is something I don't
have control over. My girlfriend tells me that I must be afraid of some
aspect of sex. I tell her that I am not afraid of sex and that I feel
totally comfortable with her, but she tells me that it must be a
subconscious fear, something that I am not consciously aware of. I just
find the whole thing disappointing. In my mind I am turned on; the thought
of sex and the sight of me and her naked together makes me emotionally
excited, and during foreplay I am physically aroused. It is only when we
get naked with the intention of having sex, or when one of us gets up to go
get a condom, that I become limp, even though mentally and emotionally I am
very turned on. My girlfriend tells me that I have a fear that I must
overcome on my own. If that is the case, then I have no idea how to conquer
this fear and stop it from having a negative effect on our sex life.
If the problem does indeed have something to do with an unconscious fear
that remains hidden in my mind, then there are only four things that I can
think of that may perhaps be the culprit. I feel that they are worth
sharing with you so you might be able to attribute the problem to one or
more of them. Also, I don't mind sharing this information with you because
I trust that the things I say will remain confidential.
1. Two years ago my girlfriend was diagnosed with genital herpes. She told
me this about two weeks into our relationship. She obtained the disease
from an ex-boyfriend with whom she had a serious relationship. While at
first her announcement frightened me, I soon got to the point where it did
not bother me too much. I trust her completely and I know that she will
always inform me when she is having an outbreak. I only mention all this to
you because she thinks it is okay for me to do so, especially since it may
be one of my unconscious fears. However, I do not think that it is, since
we have made love when I am not wearing a condom, but we are unable to make
love when I do intend to wear one.
2. It is possible that I am subconsciously intimidated by my girlfriend's
sexual past. While she is my first, I am her fifth. Consciously, I am not
intimidated by her past and her experience, since I know that she loves me
for who I am.
3. The third reason has to do with my parents. I have always been open with
them about subjects regarding life and relationships. While they tell me
that they are happy for me that I have fallen in love, I think they are a
bit nervous about the sexual experiences that await me. Perhaps
subconsciously I do not want to upset them in any way, and that is what is
causing the problem to occur.
4. Performance anxiety. This is not really a subconscious fear, just
another possible cause of my problem. Ever since the problem has been
occurring, I think about it during foreplay. I try to look forward to
making love, and hope every time that that time will be successful. Still,
I feel anxiety about not being able to maintain my erection when we are
about to have sex.
Besides for this sex-related problem, our relationship is great. We are
very much in love, and we are both happy. However, if this sexual problem
remains persistent for too long, we feel it will put a damper on our
relationship. I am simply looking for what will hopefully be a permanent
solution to my problem.
Something that bothers me slightly about my problem is that I have never
heard about it occurring in other people my own age. I understand that
impotence problems are more common among older men, but I'm not sure about
guys in their late teenage years. I realize that it is not something that
guys with this problem would want to openly talk about with their friends.
Therefore I am wondering if my problem is at all common. I guess I would be
slightly more at ease to find out that it is a fairly common problem among
young men who have just lost their virginity.
I just need to know what I must do to overcome this. I have thought about
it and discussed it with my girlfriend a great deal, and I have not been
able to figure out how to conquer my problem staying erect. The thought of
having sex should turn me on; instead, it seems that it has exactly the
opposite effect. Please help me out and let me know what the cause of my
problem is, and what I can do to overcome it.

Suffering From Impotence

A:  Dear SFI:  No one knows the true incidence of this in the population because it is seriously under-reported out of embarrassment.  The therapy approach is weekly debriefing with a sex therapist and three events of an exercise called sensate focus during the week.

I suggest that you concentrate on the fourth alternative:  performance anxiety.  The self-help for this is to make vaginal containment a much more gradual thing than all or none.  Have your girlfriend fondle or suck your penis until it is erect, then with you lying flat on your back, have her kneel on either side of your hips and rub the tip of your penis in her labia.  By alternating that with stroking you with her hand, she can insert just the tip, then remove your penis, fondling it for a few seconds, then reinserting it a little deeper, removing it, etc.

You might need to precede all this with several sex sessions of simply getting an erection, installing the condom, and achieving orgasm by a combination of her hand or your hand.   Your current reaction is valid:  this is not romantic.  This is sexual behavior modification.

The essence of what I suggest is that you rehearse the idea that you are NOT going to have intercourse.  You are going to be playful and enjoy an orgasm without your penis being in her vagina.

An enjoyable variation on this theme is for you and she to spoon with you sliding your penis between her thighs very close to her pubic hair, making occasional vaginal penetration.  Your goal is to transition from say five slides between the thighs to one vaginal penetration, to a ratio of one to one, to eventually starting between her thighs and then penetrating and staying intravaginal.  And yes, along the way you will likely ejaculate, but don't be discouraged.  Being in "training" like this has excellent promise to get you over the performance anxiety.

All of that having been said, MAKE SURE that you find out what your girlfriend would especially like for her sexual and intimate pleasure.

And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that SOME women have intravaginal outbreaks of herpes with no external symptoms, so un-condomed sex with her runs the risk that you will contract the virus.

I'd appreciate it if you would keep a journal of what you do and when you do it, to e-mail to me when you get over this erection dysfunction.

Sexual desire discrepancy, female fantasies, and more.  Well written in her words!
1/23/01 (received 1/18/01)   Q:  Dear Dr. Fitz,
Man, I am having a blast reading all the letters on your website!  I thought
I knew pretty much everything but here I am scrolling like a schoolgirl!  I
am a 48/F, divorced after a 25 year marriage two years ago, in a 2 1/2 year
relationship with L who is 51.  I could be writing about a problem with
our desire discrepancy, but I have learned so much from your website that I
don't consider it a problem anymore.  Our discrepancy is apparently very
typical:  he desires sex about 2 times a week and I would enjoy every day,
sometimes 2 or 3 times a day.  However, we have worked this out with me, of
course, being the "loser" although I don't really see it that way anymore.  I
always allow him to be the initiator (very rare exceptions) so that he won't
feel pressured to have sex when he isn't in the mood.  I use my vibrator
(which he gave me) in between our sexual events.

My long marriage was
sexless the last five to ten years so I was a crazed maniac the first year
out, but have calmed down to something reasonable to expect from a half a
century year old man now.  Our compromise is pretty much 2-3 times a week
with a lot of touching, kissing, and intimacy all the time (also missing in
my marriage.)  The worst risk with a discrepancy desire seems to me to be the
feelings of undesirability felt by the person with the higher level of
desire.  He is pretty good at making sure I don't feel that, to his great
credit.  He is actually a wonderful lover, he will absolutely not come
himself until he has made sure I have had a at least one and usually more
mind-blowing orgasms, both clitoral and G-spot.  He needs Viagra, which he
told me on our first date, God bless him!  He's pretty upfront about most
things.  I don't want him to take Viagra more than a few times a week anyway
due to the side effects (nasal congestion, mild upset stomach, flushed
appearance/feeling).  It is a sexual life-saver, though, and I would highly
recommend it to some of your readers who express interest, if all
circumstances are appropriate.  L is pretty proud of his large, hard
erections with the Viagra and it reassures him that he is virile and can
satisfy me.

Now, to the subject I would like your opinion on:  I find that I
can only have clitoral orgasms with the vibrator since I have become used to
it.  I used to have them without one before he gave it to me.  Now, the
vibrator just makes it so consistently reliable that I always use it (L
has no problem with this, although I think he would enjoy being able to give
me an orgasm with oral or manual stimulation, and I do come close, but in the
end need the vibrator).

Also, and this is something I have not seen addressed on your website:  I can
make myself come, after five or more minutes of stimulation/foreplay, by
imagining certain arousing scenarios in my head.  It always works.  It is
very difficult for me to come without this.  I suppose you would call it
fantasizing.  The scenes can change periodically, but they are necessary for
me to come.  One I have been using for awhile involves a real incident that
happened between L and I about a year ago in which he got out of bed and
came to find me reading the paper, ready to go to work.  He had an erection
and asked if I would give him oral before I went to work.  I cooperated,
during which he also unbuttoned my blouse and briefly stimulated my nipples.
This was all very erotic to me and when I reenact it in my head during sex,
especially while sucking him and being stimulated by him with the vibrator, I
come immediately.  Another mental scenario involves the rape scene from the
movie The Accused with Jodie Foster, in which she was violated on a pinball
machine by several guys.  I have no desire whatsoever to be raped, and I have
not shared this "fantasy" with L for fear he might find the idea
disturbing, but it is very arousing to me and causes me to climax

There have been other scenarios in the past, involving strangers
usually and me being semi-dominated by aggressive, masculine men.  My point
is, I find this mental exercise a vital component of my sex life.  I don't
consider it in the same category as thinking about another man during sex,
which I have also done, such as a previous boyfriend, and that is also a
turn-on, but I don't use that technique to come.  I have never seen you
advise women to use this in order to be able to achieve orgasm either quickly
or just reliably.  Apparently a lot of women have trouble reaching orgasm and
it seems to me that this is a great way to make it easier.  What do you
think?  I know most men have visuals they use when masturbating, and perhaps
if a man was not all that turned on by his partner (due to monotony, boredom,
desire for variety, whatever) I am sure they would think nothing of
visualizing some hot chick in an arousing scenario to help them achieve
climax or just to enhance the experience.  Would you consider recommending
this technique to women, because I really don't think most women, especially
married women, would think of it on their own.  Or, they would feel very
guilty about it, and it is just so harmless!  I love L and often it can be
him I am thinking of, in a particularly arousing situation, that pushes me
over the edge, so it's not remotely like mental cheating.  Even thinking of
others is no big deal to me and it would not hurt me in the least if I
thought or knew he did the same thing.  After all, sometimes the physical
stimulation alone is not enough.

One other thing I would like to mention to you:  You seem to consistently
advise people with desire discrepancies to consider finding a partner with a
level of desire more closely matched to their own.  My experience has been,
however, that most of the women I know are very frustrated at the lack of men
who are even remotely compatible to them in ANY way, much less sexually!  It
seems that, especially at my age, if you can find someone you even like and
can stand, you are doing good!  Then, if you discover some sexual
incompatibility, the desire is to try anything to work it out because,
without being somewhat promiscuous, it would be very hard to locate a partner
with desire, etc. that matches yours.  I think most women would agree with me
on this, and possibly most men too, especially after age 30.  It's just not
that easy to go find someone else these days and many people, especially
women, end up having a relationship with their shower massager or their dog
rather than put up with a less than adequate man, and I don't necessarily
mean sexually inadequate, although there is that too!
I can think of about a million things I would love to discuss with you Dr.
Fitz but I will close now and hope you see fit to respond to my mail.

With great admiration and affection,
J (prefer to remain anonymous although don't mind if you use L's name
since it is so common a name)

A:    (my reply on Thursday evening) I'm leaving for the evening and have a busy schedule tomorrow and for my sanity only get e-mail at the office so it will probably be some time on Monday that I have time to respond.

I think you would LOVE Nancy Friday's book WOMEN ON TOP

If you want to review it before purchase, see if it is in your local library.

Maybe you'll get it over the weekend and send an e-mail of copious praise and appreciation!

Later, J (which is a pretty common name, also!)


Dear Dr. Fitz,
I anxiously anticipate your reply to my previous email!  I am thrilled that
you responded so quickly, you are the greatest!  As you recommended, I took a
look at Nancy Friday's book, Women On Top, at the bookstore yesterday and
found it interesting.  I know women have fantasies just like men do, and I
assume some women use their fantasies to help achieve orgasm, but from
reading your site and from talking to other women it seems to me that not
very many women use mental imagery to arouse themselves and to expedite
orgasm during the act itself when they are with a partner.  I hope I am being
clear enough about this.  I truly believe many women would find it repugnant
to use this technique due to their inhibitions.  As I have read your replies
to women who have trouble orgasming I do not recall having seen you advise
them to use mental imagery to help achieve orgasm, in addition to acquiring
the proper physical stimulation whether it be oral, manual or penile

An example of how I would phrase it to a reader:  "Once you
have tutored your partner in what arouses you most physically and they are
doing it correctly, and you are as physically aroused as you can get (wet,
engorged with blood, writhing with pleasure), to push yourself over the edge
to orgasm try thinking of something that really turns you on.  It could be
something your lover once did or it could be something that happened with
another partner, or it could even be a scene from a movie or a book.  Imagine
it actually happening to you while your lover continues. The combination of
this mental imagery with a high level of physical stimulation should cause an
orgasm."  What do you think?

Yes, J is also a common name, but I prefer the anonymity because of the
possibility of people I know putting two and two together if they see my name
AND his name and also know our ages, situation, etc.  Get what I mean?  After
all, I am recommending your website to everyone I know who might be
interested!  Although I am happy to discuss intimate details of my sex life
with you, I don't want to go public with it quite yet!  I did write a book
about some of my experiences, but that's another story......I think it is
publishable but don't want to embarass my ex-husband....anyway, can't wait to
hear from you!

A:   Your points about sexual desire discrepancy are well taken and what you describe highlights the generality that before around 38 years of age, men want sex more often than women, and after 38 women want it more (and then at menopause women polarize, either increasing or "giving up").    My advice, though, is to use frottage (rubbing) techniques to achieve orgasm in the party who wants it more often.  In your case, he can cuddle with you and/or suck on your breasts while you use the vibrator.  In this way it's a partner-shared experience and he doesn't have to take Viagra.

That he absolutely will not come until he has brought you to one or more orgasms is a derivative of the Judeo-Christian idea that the only "real sex" is penile-vaginal intercourse (making babies).  That could become a problem.  I encourage you to vary your sex life with extra-vaginal orgasms.  [If you're a sophomore, read on:  "Extra-vaginal is the opposite of 'intra-vaginal;' the latter means inside the vagina and the former means outside the vagina, and is not to be confused with 'extra vaginas.'"]  From time to time suggest that he slide his erect penis between your lubricated thighs (close to your pubic hair) or in the crevice of your buttocks.

Your -- is it dependence? -- on the vibrator is also potentially problematic.  I encourage you to achieve orgasm without the vibrator at least every fifth time.  The problem is that you are conditioning your brain to interpret such intense stimulation as the "only" way to achieve orgasm, and for some women that escalates and they push harder and hold the vibrator longer, and that can cause nerve damage that requires 6 months of no vibrator to repair if it does repair (and some doesn't).  Hence, "Use it (properly) or lose it."

The longer I talk with people about their sexuality the more impressed I am with their individuality.  I hear that your fantasies work for you, but for many people, the anticipation of guilt regarding their fantasy detracts from making the fantasy itself eroticizing.  One woman wrote that as a teenager she was masturbating on the edge of her bed and was holding her legs under the knees with one arm and using the other hand to stimulate her clitoris.  Suddenly she was aware of the family dog licking her anus (and she did nothing to stop it), and a few seconds later had a peak orgasm.  A few weeks later, after watching her brother tease the dog with a big glob of peanut butter (watching a dog open and close its mouth in an attempt to swallow peanut butter has been the prank of bratty boys since peanut butter was invented), and noting the zeal with which the dog liked it, the lightbulb went off in her head and when she had the house to herself,  she assumed the position and put peanut butter on her anus while masturbating.  Well, she had another great orgasm, but was so guilty about what she had done, that for years, she would use the recall (fantasy embellishment also), and claimed it did help her reach orgasm, but she paid a serious price of guilt afterward.

For some women fantasy is GREAT, and for others it stirs up feelings of infidelity, guilt, disgust, and shame.  NOTE:  One of the objectives of sex therapy is to help people "reframe" (think of in a different way) how they evaluate their sexuality.  The vast majority of people who run a course of sex therapy end up seriously disinhibited, engaging in a wider variety of sexual behaviors than before the therapy, and most often being sexual more often than before.  WOMEN OF THE WORLD:  It's OK to fantasize about anything and anybody (and any number of men or animals filling any number of orifices at once), regardless of race, religion, gender, species, or national origin.

And finally, in regard to sexual desire discrepancy, because many people divorce after prolonged destruction in a marriage, because of sexual discrepancies, my frequent advice to find a partner with whom you are more compatible is based on the idea that IF you think that after you are married that you two will be more compatible AND that is unlikely to happen, and IF that then becomes a huge emotional wedge between you, you would have been better off -- had a better quality of life -- if you had honestly acknowledged that problem from the outset.  And this whole thing is further complicated by the flip in the late 30's over who wants sex more often.  Maybe that system of having an older sex partner when you're young, a same age partner in the middle years, and a young sex partner when you are older really would work best!  We'll have to ask Newt Gingrich.  His first wife was one of his high school teachers; his second his age, and he last year divorced her for the younger woman with whom he had been having a long-term affair.    ALL relationships are a mixed bag of assets and liabilities; the question is whether you're close enough -- that there are more assets than liabilities -- to continue to be of value to each other.  Sex is usually tied to intimacy and validation, and when one doesn't experience that as often as he or she would like, there is a natural questioning of one's self-worth and the other's love.  As with all important matters, there is the tendency to think "If he or she loved me enough, he or she would understand how important this is to me and do something about it."  And that, dear reader, is why I so often endorse breaking out of the myth that the only "real" sex is penile-vaginal intercourse, and that the horny partner can be "sexually released" from tension by frottage techniques.

A lengthy reply to an especially well-written e-mail

1/26/01 She writes again:  Dear Bill,

Your comments are well taken and thought provoking.  I am honored that you
put my email on your website along with your nice compliments:)  Also, my
thanks for your disguising our identities.

I was slightly confused by your reference to Judeo-Christian doctrine and its
effect as it might be related to L's insisting that I have an orgasm(s)
before he has his.  As he has explained it to me, he learned somewhere along
the road (from his father?) that it is a man's responsibility sexually to
make sure his woman is satisfied first.  Since L, like many men, feels
spent and sleepy after he climaxes, he also feels it is better if I come
first while he still has the desire and energy to achieve that.  Also, he is
incredibly turned on by my arousal and by my orgasm, so for him it is a form
of arousing foreplay.  Although we do also sometimes have non-penetrative
sex, a typical sexual encounter between us involves using every orifice
(except his anus...some old dogs are entirely reluctant to even discuss new
tricks, despite my assurance that the feeling is incredibly pleasurable), it
also involves playing with vibrators, dildos, yogurt, semi-porno videos, and
whatever else we think of, although he is unfortunately reluctant to tie me
to the bedposts.  As I mentioned, I almost always end up having one or more
clitoral orgasms and then, during penetration usually, an absolutely cosmic
period of G-spot stimulation that just about induces cardiac arrhythmia in
me!  However, due to the desire discrepancy, there are times when I indicate
to him that I am in the mood and he will pleasure me without getting an
erection himself.  He enjoys this almost as much as I do.  The thing about
Viagra is that you have to be motivated to take it in advance of the event.
If he is not horny himself he does not think to take it, in anticipation of
my desire, unless he decides it has been too long since we made love (knowing
I probably want it).  It is this type of situation, in which he is not horny
and hasn't anticipated my horniness, that I might gently indicate my desire
and he might fulfill me without an erection or penile penetration at all.
Sometimes he gets a natural (non-Viagra assisted) erection during this sex
play and we go with it if it's there.  But I am rambling I think.  You can
see how my introspection could end up book-length I'm sure:)

Enjoying our correspondence but aware of your obvious time limitations,

(P.S.  You may be curious about the reference to yogurt.  I have found that
using my favorite kind of yogurt (Yoplait banana custard style) makes
performing oral sex on him much more fun and tasty.  I first bring the yogurt
into the bedroom, already eating it rather erotically, like long licks of the
spoon, which alerts him to the fun ahead...then as he becomes erect I dip his
penis into the yogurt container and lick and suck the yogurt off.  I also
smear it on his balls and suck and lick that off.  We both enjoy this a lot,
as you might imagine. It probably helps reduce the incidence of yeast
infections too since he doesn't wash it off before entering me, if he doesn't
come in my mouth.  Not long ago, on his birthday, the cake I made was
unfortunately not quite done in the middle, a fact I discovered too late to
bake it any longer.  We ate the fully done cake on the outer edges and then
later that night I put the gooey middle batter remaining in a small bowl and
used it as frosting on his man missile, mostly so that when anybody asked him
the next day if he had a nice birthday he would smile at the lovely memory!)

A:  Knowing that many readers will love the yogurt tip, I have included this additional follow-up.

The reference to the Judeo-Christian influence is the idea that IF the only "real" sex is making babies, and that intercourse is what "mature" people do, then everything else is a sin or immature.  Under this -- what I refer to as the Judeo-Christian model of how sex OUGHT to be, if the guy reaches orgasm before the woman, and he loses his erection, there is an overtone that he has been selfish, incompetent, and/or rude and inconsiderate; emotions that interfere with romance.  This "I gotta get her off but only with a stiff dick" concept is what some sex therapists refer to as using the penis like a dildo.  AND it creates performance anxiety and erection dysfunction!  If the couple adopts a more flexible stance -- that it's no big deal if the guy comes before she does, they can segue into plan "B," -- doing what she likes that will most likely result in her eventual orgasm, but not involving an erection.  THAT's why when you said that L will absolutely not come until he has brought you to one or more orgasm I inferred that it would be an interpersonal strain if he reached orgasm before you.

I think that your open and playful attitude about sex speaks volumes about not having been repressed (or ignoring the repression).  Keep working on his sexual flexibility.  But be careful:  If he learns the joy of occasionally being tied spread-eagle on his stomach and accepting with grace and dignity the passivity of the experience of your strapped-on dildo driving him into ecstasy because of the internal prostate massage, you might have to start taking turns getting tied up!

1/26/01 A man writes:  Wow, what an amazing page! The most recent posting by the woman talking
about fantasizing about a rape scene during sex reminds me of my girlfriend.
I don't remember how we got on the subject, but she admitted that she uses
rape fantasies like this to "get off". I immediately responded that I
thought that was pretty common. I *do* think that, not sure if it's correct
or not of course. I don't have a problem with it either, although I guess I
was a little surprised. I'm happy she shared it, I like that she feels close
enough to do that, it makes me feel good. My question is, does this *mean*
anything? Specifically does it mean she might like it better if I'm more
aggressive? I'm thinking that might key into her fantasy images more easily
than if I'm being Mr. Romantic. I know she likes "romantic sex", but does it
mean she might like it a bit wilder more often? What exactly about a fantasy
vision of rape is erotic to women? The lack of control? The vision of
female-as-raw-sex-object? I want to understand her better. I suppose I could
just ask her, but she might sort of blow it off out of embarrassment.

A:  As I have said elsewhere, the Judeo-Christian message of "Nice girls don't, and those who do enjoy sex are sluts" has so badly interfered with female sexual enjoyment, that they find a weight off their shoulders IF they get/engage in good sex WITHOUT being responsible for it.

Humans get bored with the same-old same-old, and because different women have different sexual interests, to your question of whether you should be more aggressive, I suggest "try it and see what happens."  Most people are flattered by attention, and the "soft bondage" approach of loosely tying her hands and feet spread-eagled, blindfolding her, and proceeding to tantalize her with sexual stimulation is met with profound appreciation by many people (men as well).  The helplessness compounds the passivity because not only is the bound person at your mercy in what you do to her, she cannot be expected to reciprocate.  If both parties have freedom and one  stimulates the other without reciprocation, that is considered selfish (unless you agree to "68" -- "you do me and I'll owe you one").  But if the receiver is tied up, it can't be selfish!

You won't know if she would just blow off a question out of embarrassment until you do ask!  Communication is the name of the game.  Tell her something new about you (role model disclosure) and ask her to help you better understand what it is about the rape fantasy thing that is eroticizing to her as a unique individual.  AND think fast and drop comments like "So, if I tied you up and pretended to be ..." to see if she will give you some hints.

1/29/01 She writes again:

Dear Bill,
I not only chuckled as I read your last few lines (added), I was also happy
to see the next letter from the guy who was heartened by my admitting arousal
at the rape scene fantasy.  I understand his reluctance to bring this up with
his partner, it's a very touchy subject.  I have casually mentioned liking
the scene I mentioned (rape scene on pinball machine in The Accused) to L
and it was his reaction that caused me to decide not to elaborate on my use
of that scene to promote orgasm.  I do not fault L for having strong
feelings against any act of rape.  I do wish he were more able to understand
the strange dichotomy of a woman not wanting to be raped and yet being
aroused by the fantasy.  I'm thinking that maybe I can explain it in such a
way that your other reader will understand it, even though I'm not yet
willing to explore this further with L.

The arousing components of the rape scene may be obvious to some:  I, like
many women today, am a strong, independent woman.  I have spent most of my
life being in control among somewhat weaker people, including men.  As a
result I sometimes relish the idea of not being in control, in fact of being
controlled, by a masculine, aggressive man.  The rape fantasy is the extreme
of this fantasy.  My current partner is much more in-charge than my husband
of so many years, and this appeals to me.  It takes the burden off of me to
make decisions, be strong all the time, and of course, to initiate sex.  It
makes me feel more desirable and probably feeds into the average "father
figure" desire as well.  Aren't relationships complicated?  Or maybe it's
just women!

Anyway, the essence of my fantasy is a clear visual picture of exactly what
happened in that scene....a hand over my mouth, fear in my face (partly a
fear that I will find this sex arousing), the rapist rips off my panties, and
before I can do anything he enters me, and of course the sex is very rough
although there is no actual battering involved.  In that particular scene
there are multiple rapists and my own twist on the actual story is that one
of the men violates me anally as well.  Pretty graphic and abhorrent, eh?
Well that's it, that's what turns me on sometimes.  If my partner wanted to
know what he could do to enhance this experience I would say he could just
occasionally (perhaps ask me first?) role play the part of a rougher more
aggressive lover, including spoken threats or perhaps just leer and go on
nastily about how I really love it despite my protestations, etc.  I'm sure
you get the idea.  Again, all men should know that this type of fantasy has
absolutely nothing to do with truly wanting to be raped.

I think I do understand your further explanation of the Judeo Christian
effect, but L knows that I truly love penetration.  He does not completely
understand that I do not always need it to be satisfied, stemning from the
relative simplicity of what it takes to sexually satisfy a man vs a woman.
In his head he realizes a clitoral orgasm may be satisfying in itself, but
some part of him believes (no matter what I say) that penetration is the
ultimate satisfaction for a woman.  In fact, he has told me that some woman
or women in his past told him that if they have an orgasm without a penis in
their vagina they experience an aching, empty feeling.  I find that bizarre
except for the fact that one can become conditioned to any feeling and thus
feel a loss when they don't experience it.  I think this is more complicated
than your Judeo Christian theory covers.

Last, I think it's a safe wager that he will never be spread eagled and tied
to the bed with me advancing with a strap-on.  However, I can live with that
tiny omission.

Endorphins as natural anti-depressants.  If a man or a woman fits this profile, get help!
1/22/01 Q:  Dr. Fitzgerald:
My husband and I have been married for almost 16 years and have 2 pre-teen
daughters. My husband is extremely sexual, to the point of addiction in my
opinion. His primary focus in life is sex and his entire mood is based on
his sexual satisfaction. If he is sexually frustrated - he is in a
terrible mood - yelling at the girls, easily agitated, ect. If he feels
sexually fulfilled - life is good. However, he can never seem to get
enough sex. We have sex about every other day, usually oral sex because
that is his preference. however, if we have oral sex this morning, he
wants intercourse tonight, if we have intercourse tonight, he'll want me
to be late for work to have oral sex in the AM. It's always the wrong
time, wrong kind, etc.He would be happiest if he could lie in bed all day
and have sex. Unfortunately, I do not share that desire.
Another thing that worries me is that during periods of sexual excitment,
he often starts talking about his homosexual fantasies. I know that he did
experiment in college with homosexuality. This occurs mostly if he has
been feeling sexually frustrated - he tells me how he wants to make love
to another man, that he loves me but needs male-to-male sex, etc. This
goes on until he ejaculates then it is never mentioned again until the
next time he is frustrated.During these times he actually gets angry when
I tell him that I will not agree to him having a relationship outside of
marriage -  male OR female. He enjoys looking at women and I have never
seen him oogle a man. We did talk about it once and he says that he did
enjoy his experimentation and that he could not rule out ever having
homosexual sex again in his lifetime. He also told me that he thinks its
an acceptance test for me - that no matter what he tells me I will still
accept him. He refuses to tell me whether he has homosexual desires at
times other than in the bedroom. He says that the "turn-on" is me
believing that he has, truth or not.
He also has other bizzare ideas during sex- scatalogical desires, eating
things he hates (like a raw onion), putting needles through his nipples,
etc. Again, once he ejaculates, he is disgusted by what he has done.
He has suffered from depression for several years although he has
relatively good control at this time.
As you can see, I am very confused. I love my husband and agree we are in
a "rut" but his strange desires really diminish any enjoyment I have
during sex and no matter what I try different it is never right. This is
really starting to ruin my marriage as he needs almost constant sexual
relief and I, it seems, cannot provide that for him. I could really use
your opinion. Do you think he could really be homosexual or bisexual?
Could this be his depression, making him need acceptance no matter how
much he knows it hurts me?
I really appreciate your time and I'm sorry for this letter being so long
but this is not something I can talk about with friends and family.

A:  I was composing my reply regarding my strongest hypothesis of his use of endorphins and adrenaline as internal antidepressants when I came to that point in your e-mail.

I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to get him on antidepressants because I predict that he will acclimate on current endorphin and adrenaline levels and escalate to more and different sexual peaks that will interfere MORE in his/your life.


1/22/01 Q:  Hello sexdoc,
    I am a 20 yr. old female who wrote to you a while back about being
preorgasmic.  I have been sexually active for 6 months now and there is still
no sign of an orgasm.  It is now becoming very upseting to me because I feel
like its something wrong with me and that i am missing out on something in
life.  Now when i have sex with my boyfriend sometimes i dont even want to
because i know nothing is going to happen.. I recently read an article on that said its a new device that was just approved by the FDA ( I cant
think of the name of it). The article said it is as small as a thimble and
you are supposed to place it on the clitoris so you can receive more
fstimulation.. Have u ever heard of this device? If so can u please tell me
if this instrument really works and where i can purchase it.  I also wanted
to add that i can only achieve orgasms when  i apply pressure to my thighs
when i lie down.  I also purchased that book by lonnie burback but i am a
full time college student and worker so it very time consuming to set some
time do the exercising in the book.  In the book it is instructed that u set
time to yourself when u are not tired.. But thats impossible cause when i'm
done work and school i'm exhausted.  I also wanted to know what it the
percentage of women that dont achieve orgasms at all.
thank you

A:  I think that the device you are referring to is a new vacuum pump for women.  The tip is as small as a thimble but the body is considerably larger.  I have talked with exactly one woman who has used it and she said that the first time was much better than subsequent uses, and that using it is noticeably better than not.  It works by enlarging the clitoris (the vacuum makes the clitoris engorge just like a penis does) thus increasing surface area and making it feel like there are more nerve endings.  It is outrageously priced considering the materials used, and I predict that it will come down remarkably in price.

If you are exhausted I am not surprised you are having trouble achieving orgasms.

Depending on the survey, 10% to 15% of women report that they have never achieved an orgasm.  Years ago I had a 62 year-old woman report having her first orgasm.  Recently I spoke with a 23 year-old woman who said that last year she had her first orgasm by using a vibrator.

Rather than the vacuum device, I suggest that you go to your nearest major drugstore chain and find a vibrator.  Learn to bring yourself to orgasm while on your hands and knees, then use it on your clitoris while having penile-vaginal intercourse doggy style with your boyfriend.  Hint:  a rechargeable vibrator gives you more mobility than a corded one, and saves big bucks on batteries.  Just make sure you keep it charged up.

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