Sex and Relationships

Sexual Dysfunction

Answers to questions about sex therapy and sexuality

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Answer page #9

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8/10/98 Q: I'm a 41 year old single male and have recently began a relationship with a >teriffic woman. Our sex has been great, except for my inability to >ejaculate during oral or vaginal sex. She enjoys the sex also and has two >or three organisms while making love. However, i can tell she is concerned >about me not ejaculating and feel it's becoming an issue in an otherwise >great relationship. >I have only had one time when I came with a woman and that was over 10 years >ago, and only one instance. For the last 15 years or so I have thought I was >impotent, and had about ten instances with different women when I failed to >get an erection. Before begining this recent relationship I purchased some >Viagra, and have had no problems maintaining an errection. in fact, I don't >really think I even need the Viagra anymore. I think my impotence was >related to "performance anxiety" and now I at least know I can get an >errection. It also helps that i am super attracted to this present woman. >Anyway, my question is do you think my inability to ejaculate is a anxiety >issue, and will it resolve itself with more sack time? I also read >somewhere that is someone masturbates a lot that their penis gets used to >that feeling, and it's almost impossible to reach climax any other way? > > > > >

A: Dear Jack,

"More sack time" is good if the trend is toward being less and less anxious and having erections for longer and longer. But more sack time is the worst possible thing if the erection problems stay the same or get worse. You're just learning to get better at experiencing performance anxiety.

Masturbation is not, in and of itself, a "spoiling" experience. Impatience leading to frustration can interfere with intercourse, where the ability to modulate -- increase and decrease -- the excitement during self-pleasuring makes "impatience" an almost meaningless concept (unless you have trouble achieving orgasm).

8/10/98 Q: Dear Dr. Fitz:

I really enjoy masturbating outdoors, particularly on warm evenings. I live in a house which has a big secluded vacant lot with low trees at the back and if I go out there late at night I can take my clothes off and masturbate with a good deal of privacy. However I know that I am taking some risk and I am concerned about the consequences if I am ever caught in the act. Yet I get so much pleasure from the practice that I continue to take the risk. It makes me feel connected to the earth and I feel an enormous sense of calm afterwards. I also have no sexual partner and rely on masturbation as my main sexual outlet. What do you advise? Thanks,


A: Dear James,

I suggest that you expand your sexual repertoire beyond masturbation and check out being with a partner. Your "back to the earth" experience sounds charming, but if you get caught, you'll be labelled as a sex offender and have that hanging over your head for the rest of your life. The excitement of possibly getting caught is probably turbo-charging your "naughtiness", but the price is not worth it.

How about finding a like-minded partner and both of you find a safe place to make love out of doors?

Don't squash the pleasure -- just do it safely.


8/10/98 Q: Greetings, Dr. Fitz! > >As I scouted out the net for info following circumstances later >explained, I came across your web site [hmm...if I thought puns were >appropriate now, I might want points there! :)] Your comments are well >articulated, and your perspective seems quite professional, so I'm >proceeding with a note. > >I'm a white male in my 40's. I'm employed professionally at a Silicon Valley engineering firm, and active in a variety of sports.">A relationship has now broached intimacy, and I think it's time for a >clue. The problem; the dreaded "PE". > >Prior to this weekend, I had not engaged in sexual intimacy for, oh, >about a decade, give or take a year or so. Probable contributory or root >cause [damn, these puns just keep coming!]: lack of confidence in sexual >prowess. I would estimate I'm about 5.5" - 6" erect, somewhat >diminutive. I haven't really thought, in the past, that I was really >delivering the goods, figuratively speaking, when engaged in vaginal >intercourse. Basically just coming too fast to please my partner. This >seemed to be ameliorated, of course, by drinking alcoholic beverages to >attain that fine state somewhere between sensation and stupor. > >I quit drinking a little over six years ago. As Jimi Hendrix said so >long ago, perhaps in another context: "It's time to stop talking falsely >now; the hour is getting late" [All along the Watchtower (sorry, that >was really Bob Dylan)]. Between feeling older and the change in social >circumstances associated with the alcohol free life...who knows where >the time goes... > >Anyway; a relationship has been developing for some time with a woman I met. She's in her 30's , and caring for each other has pushed age and other problems out of focus. Last >Saturday found us on a beach north of Santa Cruz under the >cliffs, lying in each others arms, moon slowly drifting across the sky. >I had a most persistent erection! We didn't even kiss on that occasion. > >Subsequent to that, I was always becoming erect thinking about her, and >drifting off to sleep at night was more like shooting a class V rapids >than lazing down moon river; my body was pretty activated. > >After a moonlit walk last Friday we went back to my apartment, >and decided to step across the threshold of the Twilight Zone, into a >strange new world of sensation. > >And - my erection deserted me! Oh cruel fate! She was ready and willing, >and I had insufficent rigidity to achieve intromission (a curious word >with which few people are familiar). Later that night, and the next >morning, I was able to achieve an erection and copulate, but geez, I may >have lasted a minute...probably more accurate to quantify my endurance >by the thrust than by standard measure of time. > >I want to do better by her, and maybe get some self-esteem out of the >bargain. Given the duration of the status of my sexual nature, it's >difficult for me to accept that I can achieve a real change. I've given >some attempt to the retraining by prolonged masturbation approach, and, >yeah, I can lay there and wank for 15 minutes when I wake up. But those >circumstances are about as stimulating as doing laundry. > >So there you have it. I appreciate your reading my message. I'll take >into serious consideration any response you send, be it "practice more" >or "read this book" or recommendation for a professional consult of some >sort. > >Thanks again! -

A: The situationality you describe -- erection on the beach and in the morning but not at the prospect of intercourse, added to the PE, indicates clearly that your plumbing and wiring are working fine -- it's an anxiety problem.

No matter where in the country/world you were my advice would be the same: Do not attempt intercourse and, thus, a repetition of the difficulty, and immediately consult a sex therapist.

It's kind of like learning to ride a bike: With each learning session you get better and better at controlling the bike. In your case your brain is learning the wrong thing -- how to avoid the anxiety by PE, or ED. The more you practice/repeat this experience, the deeper you'll get into the blind alley, and the more you'll have to unlearn before going down the road of better satisfaction.

I strongly suggest that you engage only in oral or manual (or in other body stimulation assiduously avoiding any attempt at vaginal intercourse no matter how confident you feel) sex and that you and your lady be seen by a sex therapist.

I might be able to see you depending on your time availability, or if I met with you and we don't match calendars I would have a better sense of who to refer you to.

If you want to pursue this possibility please call my voice mail 408/450-8699.

Dr. Fitzgerald

8/10/98 Q: I am a 35 year old single man (never married) who finds it necessary to ejaculate on a daily basis after self-masturbation. I read of teenagers, in the hormonal climax of their lives, ejaculating as much as three times daily, however is this normal for a man my age to masturbate on a daily basis? My other concern is whether or not my continuing with daily ejaculation will put me at risk of prostate cancer, since I am overusing that gland. I appreciate your time and response sir.


Dear Michael,

Haven't your heard: Once a King Always a King, but Once a Kinght is Enough?

Men who have AT LEAST two orgasms per week live longer, get sick less, and have fewer complaints of old age (or is it the reverse?).

Men cause a problem for their prostate by confusing it with erratic frequency of orgasm. The prostate is a great little chemical factory that like to know how much fluid to keep producing. It is persnickity regarding changes in production schedules, so any dramatic increase or decrease in the frequency of ejaculation (however attained) irritates it (it's called prostatitis -- inflammation of the prostate).

Once per day is UNEXCEPTIONAL! I have had male patients in their early 80's who continued masturbating once per day but USE IT OR LOSE IT: After the late 50's, the frequency of orgasm during any year is best predicted by frequency during the prior year. Keep up the good work!


8/10/98 Q: Dear Dr. Fitz, > > I was inspired to write to you as I was reading your question pages >about how some men spend an hour performing oral sex on their partners >in order to arouse them in preparation for intercourse. I am amazed at >the time and energy some men are willing to expend! > > My partner seems to think that my having an orgasm means that I am >sexually satisfied. As it happens, I orgasm fairly easily. However, the >fact of the matter is that sexual satisfaction for me is based on the >amount of arousal I experience, for which I need foreplay. I have told >him this in a number of ways but I am pretty sure that he feels the job >is done as long as I have an orgasm. This means that we have virtually >no foreplay and that I am not even wet when he enters me. It is usually >about a ten minute process. I have told him that I need more foreplay, >more arousal, that I need things to be done differently, that women are >different than men etc. etc. None of these comments have made any >difference. I have initiated long touching and foreplay sessions >with/for him but he has never reciprocated. He has never asked me what I >would like sexually, although I am constantly asking him. I am reluctant >to sit him down eye to eye and tell him that I am unsatisfied because I >don't want to hurt his ego, and because I am afraid that he will give up >altogether since sex isn't high on his priority list anyway. > > Do you have any suggestions as to how I might communicate my needs to >him in a way that he can hear and accept without feeling put down, >inadequate or inept? > >Thankyou! > >Frustrated > >

A: Dear Frustrated:

In a word, "NO". If he is that clueless and unresponsive to you sexually, and indeed, if you two are so far apart in your sexual interests, I doubt that communication alone will solve your problem. Sexually with you he IS inadequate and inept.

This is best dealt with face to face in therapy to discern inhibitions and/or misconceptions on his part. At the moment, you cannot be part of the solution because you are very much part of the problem! There are so many wonderful lovers out there that I must question your own motives for staying with such an incompatible (with you) guy! There are plenty of women who want infrequent "wham bang thank you M'am" lovers -- toss this one to them and find yourself someone who appreciates your sensuality and appreciation of long foreplay sessions.

Do sit him down eye to eye and give him an ultimatum. If he "comes around", you've improved things. And if he doesn't, thank him for letting you know this early in your relationship and MOVE ON!

What do you think?


8/10/98 Q: Dear SexDoc,

I am 21 years old and I had sex for the first time 4 weeks ago. It was very painful and I bled, which I know is normal, but I have had sex six more times since then and it continues to be painful every time, and what is extremely worrying is that I still bleed every time. Not a lot of blood, but enough to be significant. I have done some reading on reasons why sex can be painful for women, but nothing I have read describes what I feel. The problem is not that my vagina is too tight so that it hurts when the penis enters, in fact my boyfriend and I have had no problem with lubrication or insertion since the first time. What happens is that when he pushes into me deeply, I feel pain like something squeezing my kidneys, or a bad period cramp. It is extremely painful and makes sex completely unbearable for me. Could it be that for some reason my hymen has not broken properly and that is what his penis is pressing against? The pain has not lessened at all with our repeated attempts at sex, although every time I was as relaxed as I could be. Can you please help me? I have no idea what is wrong with me.

from Very Worried

A: Dear Very Worried:

Please make an appointment with an OB-GYN at your early opportunity. The WWW and Internet are wonderful things, but some things need a face to face examination.

Readers all: If the pain comes from deep thrusting and feels like a bad cramp, it can't be your hymen, which is right inside the opening. Please overcome whatever hesitations you have and get it checked medically!

best wishes


8/12/98 She writes again: Dear Dr Fitzgerald, > >Thankyou for your quick reply. I did go to see a doctor and she did an >internal exam. Apparently the problem is that I have a short vagina and >what the penis is pressing against is my cervix. The blood is coming from >small capilleries that are being broken at the entrance to my cervix. The >doc advised that my boyfriend and I take it more slowly to begin with >untill we find what positions are most comfortable and my body becomes >more used to having sex. Thankfully, she assured me that this will not be >a problem forever. > >from Not Worried Anymore. >

By the way, I think your web page is great. Keep up the good work! And thank you again.

8/10/98 Q: Dear Doc, > >My husband and I are in our mid 30's. For most of our relationship he >has had a very low libido. He is happy if we have sex twice a month or >less. I would prefer to have sex at least once a week. When we do have >sex, we both enjoy it very much. Although because it is low on his list >of priorities it is always around 10:00 at night in our bed. It is never >a spontaneous event. I have tried to initiate and have been rebuffed so >often that I just wait until he initiates. I have asked him for what I >need in a million different ways with no results. I have been searching >for an explanation for his lack of desire and was hoping that you could >help. I have read that problems in a relationship can lead to this, but >that doesn't seem to be the case here. We have difficulty getting along, >but even when times are good his interest in sex does not pick up. For >instance, he was away at school our first year of marriage. he was able >to come home about once a month, on some of those visits he was not >interested in sex. also, the first month that he was home for good he >would not have sex with me. i pleaded with him, and nothing. I have >tried to talk to him about this problem. he either refuses to discuss >it, says he doesn't know why, or denies he has a problem and blames me by >talking about how angry I am toward him all the time. I admit that being >rejected by him so much has made me hurt and angry, but i constantly try >to work on a better relationship with him. What explanation is there for >this? I worry that he may be homosexual. How could I know? I ask him >if he is having sex with someone else. He denies it and I really have no >other evidence of it. I have asked him how often he masturbates. He >refuses to discuss it. He did go to a medical doctor where his hormone >levels were checked. He was told they were normal. I am seeking >professional help, but he won't. > >

A: You're doing the right thing (by getting professional help).

He sounds frozen in his ability to see his circumstance. He needs help. You need help getting him to seek help. If he were shooting drugs all the time and refused help, would you sit idly by? No -- you're doing what you can do -- seeking professional help. If he absolutely will not address this problem you will have to decide if you wish to stay in such an incompatible relationship. Be thankful you're in your 30's recognizing this problem.

Please let me know what happens.


8/10/98 Q: > >Dear Dr Fitz, > Regarding Vaginismus -- >I believe my girlfriend has the above condition (which I believe is >referred to in the UK as vaginismus, I am not sure if it is called >something different in the USA - I have heard it referred to as Virgin >Wife Syndrome). She is 32years old, and first tried to have sexual >intercourse with her husband when she was 17years old. Despite >frequent attempts they were never successful, and she remains a >virgin. They "gave up" attempting intercourse about five years ago. >She has never been able to insert a tampon, although she has >successfully inserted her own finger into her vagina. >She tells me she never really had much sex education, and was always >fearful that penetration would be painful. Whenever she attempted >intercourse with her husband, it was a total disaster, and he was >never able to insert his penis or finger into her at all - not even a >small way, and she experienced pain every time that he attempted to, >although she has acheived orgasm with him through manual and oral >stimulation. I should probably mention that I am a woman, and that >she does now consider herself to be a lesbian (she has had almost no >sexual contact with her husband for five years through her own >choice), she does not think she is lesbian because of her problem with >penetration - the desire to be with another women is something she had >felt for many years - about 10, possibly more, and is seperate to her >problem. We have been together since October 1997. It took her 3 >months to confide her virginity to me. We discussed the subject, and >she expressed the wish to explore penetration with myself. We took >things very slowly, and over the course of a few weeks discussed the >idea, and I touched her by the opening of her vagina, without >attempting to penetrate, as we had agreed I would not until she said >she felt ready. The first time she said she was ready to try, we were >succesful, she was sexually aroused - she does not experience problems >with natural lubrication, and I was able to insert my finger into her >vagina, without her experiencing pain or discomfort. Since then I >have frequently penetrated her vagina with my finger (she even asks me >to do so sometimes). Now she wishes to experience something larger, >and this is where the problem begins. We have tried to insert a small >dildo into her (the smallest we could find - only 1 inch in diameter), >without any success. We have tried this several times, and neiter of >us can insert it, not even a little way (I can still insert my finger >on these occasions without discomfort). She does enjoy penetration by >my finger, and has orgasmed with it inside her, I can feel that >somtimes she is slightly more relaxed than others, as her vaginal >muscles vary in tightness, but she is usually quite relaxed. The >inablity to have the dildo inside her distresses her greatly, and we >would greatly appreciate any help or advice you could give us. She >refuses to speak to any docotor or nurse, or to have therapy of any >kind - she has never been abused, or had any bad experiences other >than unsuccessful attempts at orgasm with her husband. I just don't >know how to make the leap between my finger (which is quite small) and >the dildo, but would dearly love to do this with her as she is so keen >on the experiece. I am sorry to be so long winded, but you do say to >be detailed. If you feature this e-mail, please would you just refer >to me as Jackie, and not disclose my surname. >> >Hope you can help, many thanks > >Jackie.


Dear Jackie,

The protocol is to increase the diameter in very small increments.

There is the graduated separate objects method: little finger; next event, little finger followed by index finger; next event little finger followed by index finger followed by middle finger, etc.

Alternatively there is the graduated same object method, such as a condom covered carrot (or some such object -- use your imagination) going deeper and deeper until discomfort is noticed. Deep breathing and squeezing of pelvic muscles accompany this (the idea is that you can't consciously relax your pelvic muscles unless you know how to squeeze then relax them -- sensing the contrast).

That's basically it. Some people can do this on their own and some are not successful without monitoring by a professional.

Let me know what happens, please.


8/6/98 Q: Dear Sex Doc, > >I am a 44 year old male, divorced and involved in a relationship with a 43 >year old divorced female. She says until she bought this machine she never >had an orgasm in her life. Her first husband was very inconsiderate of her >needs and she did not enjoy sex with him at all. I try to be very attentive >to her needs and provide a lot of foreplay and stimulation, both manual and >oral. In spite of what seems like endless clitoral and vaginal stimulation >with finger and/or tongue and using lubrication, she cannot orgasm except >when using her vibrating machine. She also has a very tight vagina and >always requires significant lubrication (KY) and very slow going before >entering, even after all of the stimulation previously discussed. She has >very little if any natural lubrication. I have also noticed that her >clitoris seems to be very large too me compared to others I have seen and my >first wife's. I would say it is roughly four to five times larger than my >first wife's. It is about an inch long and one and a half to two inches >round or thick. She says she has had the orgasm, tightness and lubrication >problem her whole life. She has never had children either and has been >diagnosed as having endometriosis. > >Can you shed any light on this situation and what might be possible. Many >times she has jokingly said maybe she should have her vagina surgically >enlarged or stretched. > >By the way, my penis is about 6.5 inches long and 4.5 inches around. She >thinks this is rather large, but I have the impression that it is just >average and is not part of the problem. > >Any help you can offer would be appreciated. > > > >

A: Some women are taller, some shorter, some orgasm with very little stimulation, some need washing machines on spin dry with all the wet clothes over on one side. The opening to the vagina, called the vaginal introitus, needs to be dilated in addition to other foreplay activities.

It sounds partly like you have internalized the myth that the "only real sex is penile-vaginal intercourse". I suggest that she be pleasured, either by her hand on the vibrator or yours, and that you insert graduated diameter dildoes as part of her foreplay. If you use three dildoes of progressive diameters, while she controls the vibrator, she can have an orgasm, then while she is still in the afterglow you can remove the largest dildo and replace it with your erect and, if necessary, lubricated, penis. Yes, it's a far cry from simultaneous orgasm produced exclusively by penile thrusting, but it's better than some alternatives (and it's not uncommon!).

I have heard that such surgery is possible but that most plastic surgeons are extremely reluctant to do it.

6.5" long is well within the 3-7 average range, and 4.5" in circumference (you said around) is also unexceptional.

8/10/98 He Replies: Dear Sex Doc, Thanks for your response. I guess I may be putting too much emphasis on the orgasm being something that I should be responsible for. I was very supportive of and still am of the machine, but there's this part of me that would like it to happen "naturally", whatever that means! I guess I have a lot to learn, but I have found your web site to be very helpful and interesting with some great links. Who knows maybe I'll order one of those toys for myself and we can have fun playing with each other's toys!

Thanks again. This is a great service you provide and it is much appreciated.

8/6/98 Q: >I was considering purchasing some sort of desensitizing cream ( that you buy in an adult novelty shop) to prolong sex. >Is there any way the use of this could be harmful to me or her? Is there so much desensitation that it could effect the pleasure of either me or her? >Also I would like to know if there was any way to be sure if you found someones G-spot? Does about 2 inches into and on the topside ( stomach) of the vagina sound like the right area. > >thanks for your time > >nympho >


Dear Michael:

You sign it "NYMPHO"?

Desensitizing creams are mild topical anesthetics that deaden nerve endings, so yes, sexual sensation is definitely diminished. I think that such products are an attempt at a quick fix instead of invoking the discipline to learn to last longer. Read my web page on Premature Ejaculation and invest some (very enjoyable) time into retraining your body to be pleasured longer before having an orgasm!

If the cream rubs off on her genitals she'll go somewhat numb too, and you'll be like fucking cadavers, unable to feel each other "down there".

You will know that you found the G-spot (if she has one) by her feedback and by sensing a very subtle elevation of the area that feels like half a (green) pea. Simultaneous stimulation of the g-spot and the clitoris (gently, slowly) can produce waves of orgasms for her that will continue until she begs you to stop.

Let me know what happens!


8/5/98 WHEW! I'm finally caught up with filling in former pages (see below).

Age of First Intercourse:

8/5/98 Q: ....I am 13 1/2 and I am thinking about having sex with my boyfriend for the first time. I was wondering...What's the average age people start having sex these days? Please help me I realy need to know, this will be based on whether I have sex with him or not. Thanks! > >-L.

A: The average age of first intercourse varies with race, living in the city versus the country, nationality, religion, and other factors. I hope you don't mean that when you reach the average age that will signal when it's "right" for you to have intercourse. Average means that some women were older and some were younger. If your breasts were larger than average would you have them surgically reduced so you could be "average"?

An important question is why you want to have sex with your boyfriend. Women in their 20's tell me all kinds of stories about the emotional void in their lives, and how they enjoyed the attention they got from a boyfriend when they were having sex, and then how shattered they felt when he dumped her (them) for another sex partner.

Sex feels good, but if you miss your period, the anxiety of whether you're pregnant can be very painful.

If you get pregnant, you then have to decide whether to carry the child to term or have an abortion. Many women who carry describe how it interfered with their ability to be "normal" teenagers.

Those who carried and gave the baby up for adoption always wondered ....

Those who carried and kept the baby were robbed of important socialization -- Junior and Senior Proms, dating, etc.

Females who have unprotected sex before the age of 17 have a higher incidence of cervical cancer.

The young teenage body is not developed enough to be pregnant and life threatening things can happen to the mother or the fetus. You could die in childbirth.

Women who started sex before about 17-19 report that it's more boring, not special, and they can take it or leave it. They have less interest in being sexual from 20-40 and this does cause problems with their partners.

Many 13-16 year olds have unrealistic expectations of what being sexual will do for them -- Holding their boyfriend longer, getting love, being popular, being considered grown up, etc.

99.99% of people NEVER FORGET their first sexual intercourse partner. It is an important step; one that you can never "take back". There are profound emotional consequences that few people below the age of 17 or 18 (at a minimum) are equipped to deal with.

Please note that I am not discouraging you from having intercourse now on moral or religious grounds. This is purely based on health factors and psychological factors. And please note that I have said nothing about waiting until you get married to have sex. If you do that you might (and probably would) find that you and your husband are sexually incompatible. I think that pre-marital sex is as important as pre-marital intellectual comparisons and pre-marital emotional comparisons. But you need to be a well-informed consumer to know what you're getting into. Asking my opinion was a step in the right direction. Asking 25 women in their 20's how old they were when they first had intercourse, and, if they had it all to do over again, would they have had intercourse younger or older, and why -- would be an excellent start to help you decide.

So considering what I have included in this list, please tell me: as honestly as possible, why do you want to start being sexual now?


8/10/98 She writes back:I TRULY love my boyfriend and I KNOW he TRULY loves me. And I want him to know just how muchI love him. That's why I wanna have sex with him. I was wondering about the average age because I wanted to know if I was normal to want to start having sex at this age. I am smart enough to make him use protection, but I know that doesn't always work, but I love him and that's a risk I'm willing to take. I am going to talk to him about this and see if he really wants to go through with this, and if he does, because I know I do, then we will. Thanks for your help. >

The Sexdoc Replies: Dear L.:

With all due respect, you are being flooded by hormones and neither your body nor your brain is fully matured yet (to say nothing of your emotions).

I think you will regret having intercourse at this age. No, I know that you will regret it (if you are honest with yourself in the future).

You want to do age-appropriate stuff? At most, give him a hand job and at most give him precise instructions on how you want your breasts stimulated. Throw in feedback on where your clitoris is and how it likes to be touched; maybe fingering your labia with shallow finger penetration. Have all the orgasms you want, even with "dry humping" (rubbing bodies like penile-vaginal intercourse except with clothes on BOTH people ...

But if you have vaginal penetration, protected or not, I predict that you'll regret it.

As a material illustration of your appreciation for the time I have spent corresponding with you, please confirm back to me in a new e-mail that you understand that:

If 100 women of child-bearing age use a latex condom as their exclusive means of birth control, at the end of one year, between 2 and 10 will be pregnant. Condoms rip, slip off inside, and rupture.

AND: It is not the intercourse itself that you will regret in the short-term. It is the consequences of pregnancy or emotional disappointment WHEN your boyfriend moves on to another girlfriend OR you meet a really special guy when you're 18-21 and you wish you'd waited to start being sexual with him. I doubt that you'll regret the pleasurable feelings in your body from the act itself, although women in the 17-19 age bracket who started having intercourse when they were 13-15 are very casual about it -- it's a "so what's the big deal? It's nothing special" attitude. And I think that that is sad.

I've done all I can. How about being really, really, really sure before you do something where you can't go back -- talk to a counselor on a teen "hot" phone line, like for runaways and suicidal teens. No, I'm NOT saying that you're suicidal or about to run away -- it's just that those folks have heard it all and they might inspire you with some ideas beyond what I can do via e-mail and the WWW.

I look forward to hearing from you and Please keep in touch to let me know what happens in your life as far as this is concerned.


8/18/98 A reader e-mails: Dear Sir, I had sex at the age of 14. I am 36 years old (female) now. I THINK IT IS A BIG MISTAKE, to have sex so soon in life. Because of my home life and low self-esteem I used sex as a way to feel loved. It doesn't work that way! I regret having sex at such an early age. I became promiscuous, sleeping with men that embarrassed me making me feel ashamed. I take sex way too lightly although my husband has a very healthy way of thinking about sex. By his actions and morals, I've learned alot and enjoy a monogomous relationship with him. I am saying to "L" - wait on sex, it is an all important part of the love given to us, don't make it cheap, because it will become cheap if done at such a young age. Real Love will be much more powerful if you wait! Please do not reply, Dr. Thanks....

NOTE:  Starting 6/1/98 I will be putting answers to NEW questions on OLD Pages until all the old pages are FULL.

Answers to the questions that I wrote today (6/1/98) are on the FIRST Answers page

Answers to questions starting 6/3/98 are on the SECOND answers page

Answers to questions starting 6/9/98 are on the THIRD answers page

Answers to questions starting 6/17/98 are on the FOURTH answers page

Answers to questions starting 7/1/98 are on the FIFTH answers page

Answers to questions starting 7/6/98 are on the SIXTH answers page

Answers to questions starting 7/24/98 are on the SEVENTH answers page

Answers to questions starting 7/30/98 are on the EIGHTH answers page

Q: Dear DrFitz: >My nearly-50-year-old husband married me 6 months ago. Before we got >married he had no problem with impotence at all, but during our >honeymoon he had a "panic attack" about being married and ever since has >been impotent. He had his testosterone level checked and it was >abnormally low. Now I give him injections every two weeks, but they >don't seem to be very helpful. I recently found out that his ex-fiancee >was regularly frustrated by his lack of physical desire for her and was >probably a main contributor in their breakup four years ago. He >apparently used to rent and buy pornographic videotapes and has told me >that he has "seen everything". On the rare occasions we do have sex >(and he has only ejaculated one time since our honeymoon), he ALWAYS >talks very dirty and brings up degrading scenarios which just turn me >off completely. I think he has become psychologically dependent on porn >somewhere along the line to get aroused, and I think that once I became >a "good girl" and married him, he lost interest in me. He treats me >very well otherwise, although he has a controlling side and is possibly >obsessive-compulsive to a degree, for which he takes Effexor, an >antidepressant (known for creating abnormal ejaculations by the way). >This is a tightly-wound-up ball of complexities, but I am desperate for >some answers. I have been extremely kind and patient with him, and he >acknowledges this...but I also perceive that he isn't willing to see a >counselor about these issues, either. He seems shame-based at times and >is exceedingly concerned about "being judged" about his prurient tastes, >etc. Any advice? Thank >you for confidentiality. > >

A: I agree -- it is complicated. In addition to OCD there are overtones of the Whore-Madonna complex and some tinges of fear of commitment. I am unswayed by the testosterone and Effexor because you said that he was fine until you got married -- unless he was taking no Effexor and triple doses of testosterone then. If he were drinking himself to death but refused medical intervention for fear of being judged an alcoholic, what would your options be? He is frozen in his pergatory and is in a circumstance that John Bradshaw would call "fucked but familiar" -- dysfunctional but afraid of change. At the moment this is a "stable" system -- self perpetuating. Without some intervention, we can expect it to simply continue. If you can create the intervention, great! But if you can't (and short of threatening divorce you might not be able to), a third party may be necessary.

As you contemplate and assess the options, please use "Quality of life" as a benchmark. Would your and his lives be better off with a burst of short-term "pain" in dealing with this problem with the expectation of longer-term hapinness and satisfaction, or would you both be better off perpetuating the status quo? You say that you are desparate for some answers. For your sake, please follow the conservative approach of proceeding step by step -- i.e., contacting a mental heralth care professional in your community and proceeding from there -- instead of waiting for a "straw that broke the camel's back" phenomenon as an excuse to terminate the relationship. Does this help?

A Day later, she writes again: >Do you think there's hope for my situation from what little I've written? >I am a Christian and saw a Christian (male) counselor, and in his >opinion I should start planning the end...personally, I am more >optimistic than that, believing (maybe foolishly?) that two FAIRLY >mature adults ought to be able to come to grips with these issues and >get on with living. Thanks again for writing. >

The Sexdoc replies: Diagnosis via e-mail is prohibited by ethical statutes, BUT your husband has had lots of time to rehearse and what we call "entrench" his behavior. What you call "maturity" as an asset I call "lots of repetition" as a liability. The proof of the pudding lies in A) willingness to acknowledge that there is a problem, B) willingness to ernestly address and deal with the problem without denial, and C) response to intervention. The absence of any of those spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E !!!!!!! So your task is to agree or object to those three things; to monitor those three dimensions, and to draw your own conclusion as to "response to intervention". OR decide that you are going to live with the diminished quality of life and put up with the status quo. Don't rest your decision on "believing that ... people OUGHT to be able to ...." Base your decision on actions and behaviors that are in the desired direction. Got it?

And yes! If you have other comments, PLEASE PLEASE email them to me at >the XYX.ZZZ (fictitious) address asap! I am really hurting inside, fearing I'll >have to end this relationship before it's hardly gotten started and had >a chance and I can't stop thinking about it. Thanks again.

Fear in this case is based on ignorance -- of the outcome of intervention. You won't have to end this relationship -- HE will end the relationship by failing to address his dysfunctionality or by sabotaging it by failing to respond to treatment! (Assuming a competent therapist.)

Q: HI Doctor Fitz:

My wife and I have been married for 11 years and our sex life in terrific. I have no problem of getting or maintaining and errection. We make love 4 or 5 times a week and we usually last about an hour. But my problem is that I cannot ejaculate when I want to. I usually have to masturbate to ejaculate, and my wife doesn't mind, but I want to ejaculate inside of her. Do I need more stimulation or is it because of my age? I am 35 and my wife is 31. Do I need more foreplay? Thanks.....JG

A:  Isolating the reason will suggest a solution. If your penis rubs the same vaginal tissue repetitively, it could be becoming insensitive due to sensory acclimation (described in great detail on another Sexdoc Answers page). If your wife lubricates prolifically, your penis may not be getting enough neurological stimulation. If you had a deep-seated but now dysfunctionally pathological fear of pregnancy, you need to address that (if not successfully by yourself, then in psychotherapy). Get the idea? I presume that you have tried diffeent positions and more vigorous thrusting. It's not because of your age. I suggest reeducating your neural pathways: When you want to ejaculate inside your wife, withdraw, manually stimulate your penis, then re-insert when you're about to ejaculate. Over time see if you can be withdrawn for less and less time and re-inserted to ejaculation for longer and longer time. Be patient! This is like learning to ride a bicycle all over again. You may be able to adjust only a few seconds each event. And expect "inversions" where you'll ejaculate externally or again not be able to ejaculate internally. Slow gradual progress will last longer (a lifetime) than trying to rush things and getting frustrated. P.S. "What if my wife 'cools down' while I'm withdrawn" I hear you say. In that case, have her stimulate her clitoris both to keep her excited and to further excite you. An expression of your appreciation for this advice will be to let me know what works and what doesn't in your case. This is general case advice.

Hi Dr. Fitz:

I wrote to you yesterday about my problem about ejaculating when I "wanted to". I took your advice about withdrawing and manually stimulating myself and then inserting my penis in my wife. It worked very well, but what happened was that while I was stimulating myself my wife took a good grip of my penis and started stimulating very well, and I just ejaculated all over her, and what little I had left, penis still erect, I put it in her. She just caught me by surprise. Thank you very, very, much for your advice. I have one question Dr. Fitz. Can too much sex cause pain in my wife's vagina? She sometimes tells me that it hurts her (after about half an hour). She is very well lubricated. It only hurts her when when we do the man above woman position. Every other position is fine. She has no trouble having an orgasmn, but I am worried about the pain she tells me she endures in this position. I am looking forward to your reply. Thank you, JG

Dear JG: You are very, very welcome. Thanks for the update. Yes, repetitive motion in one certain position and not another can cause pain. Activities that release endorphins (aerobic exercise and sex) can involve pain that is not noticed until after the activity stops. The endorphins are anesthetic and mask the pain until later. It could be muscular or joint pain, unrelated to lubrication. See if you can isolate it -- i.e., try a pillow under her buttocks to change the angle of her pelvis, etc. As with your previous question, isolating the problem is a key to the solution. Again, please let me know what happens.

Q: Dr. Fitz:

I have written to you three times in the past three days, and I have received excellent advice from you, and I have taken it very seriously. Yesterday, I wrote about my wife having pain in her vagina when we would do the man above position, and you advised placing a pillow under her buttocks. Well, this wasn't only not painful to my wife, but also the penetration was very deep, especially when I asked her to lift her legs as high as she could lift them. She had a thunderous orgasm, as well as my explosion (with a little help). We have been married a good while, and we never thought about placing a pillow under her butt. Our sex life is terriffic and we have tried many positions, but this little pillow "thing" took both of us by surprise. JG

Dear JG:  Thanks for the feedback! Variety is the spice of life. Don't use the "pillow thing" every time or it will lose its glamor (and thunderous effect).

Q: Dear Doc My name is ( ) and I'm 30....I love my best freind and have done for 13 years...we have a very close and trusting relationship......she is seeing a guy...please don't think i'm jealouse I love her too much to not want her to be happy...My problem is that I would very much like to make love with her...hell I would like to spend the rest of my life with her...we have had some oral sex in the past but she has always made the I feel that she is waiting for me to broach the subject...I am so afraid of losing what we have I don't trust my own feelings and then there is the fear of failing in the bedroom....I have only had one sexuall relationship in my life and she drowned 8 years ago.....I want this woman so much but I must first let go of my fears...

How do I approach the subject with out looking the idiot....

Please help me

A: Dear ( ): There is a very good reason why there are numerous public expressions that sound trite but are true when applied to the correct circumstance. "Honesty is the best policy" comes to mind first. Being passive is obviously not getting you what you want! Why is she seeing someone else? Maybe she got tired of waiting around for you to announce your preferences! Fear of failing in the bedroom? Pretend that there is a perfect analogy between sexual skill and bicycle riding prowess. You can read all about how to ride a bicycle, you can watch movies of the experts, you can stare at beautiful glossy centerfolds of muscular men and women cruising at 30 MPH effortlessly, and you can make a mental note to look like that as much as possible, but until YOU are pedalling your heart out, gasping for breath, and jockeying for position among other riders (while reading road conditions along the way), you ain't been there, and you ain't done that. You have to have experience to have the confidence that comes from experience.

You're afraid of losing what you have? You're losing it already, you just don't see it. If she gets into a committed monogamous relationship, she won't have oral sex with you again. You want to make love with her? Tell her what you put in this e-mail: I love you, I want to make love with you, I'm afrain of losing what we have if I try to escalate our relationship, I have had only one lover and I fear that I cannot please you sexually (although if you tell me what you like, I'll try really really hard to do it). No guts, no glory! You need experience! If things don't work out with her -- if some other guy is more compatible -- then find yourself someone with whom you're more compatible. But Please, for your sake, don't wake up on your fortieth birthday to say "Gee, ten years ago I should have ...."

Q: dear sexdoc,

i am a 17 year old male, and i have been dating a girl for 2 months now. we were both virgins and only recently have began to have sex. and we do practice safe sex with the use of a condom. my problem is this...during our last encounter, without my knowledge, the condom slipped off, and i ejaculated inside her...i need to know what the odds are of her getting pregnant, and if you know of any websites that could help. i beg you to reply via email. but i do want you to know that no matter what comes out of this situation, i will still love her, and i will be there for her. '

i am really sorry if this sounded stupid, but i am somewhat ignorant in the "sexual" area...

please help....

very scared boy

Dear VSB:  Your current emotional state, that of your lover, and the consequences if the two of you are pregnant, is the price we pay for the lack of better sexual education. Grossly lacking in the educational arena is adequate exploration of personal and social consequences of unwanted pregnancy.

The probability of pregnancy is a function of the viability of your sperm (how long they live inside her) and where she was in her menstrual cycle. If she has per period when next scheduled, there is a one in a million chance that she is pregnant (enjoy a huge sigh of relief!). If she doesn't get her period IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT SHE'S PREGNANT!!!!! Many women miss their period for 1-3 months caused by the anxiety that they MIGHT be pregnant alone. Buy an EPT Early Pregnancy Test (or generic brand) at your local drug store (where nobody knows you) and follow the directions.

Figure out why the condom came off: Was it on right, was it too big or too small? I applaud your comments about being there for her, but there is an overtone that she made a mistake. Why wouldn't you "still love her" and "be there for her"? You BOTH participated in possibly making a baby. Would it surprise you if SHE approached you and said "Listen, honey, I want you to know that even if we are pregnant I still love you and I'll be there for you?  This is not her problem where you have the option to choose whether you will continue to love her or be there or not. You're there. Depending on the state you live in you might find yourself paying child support for the next 18 years.

If you appreciate the time I have taken to comment on your question, please say "thank you" by e-mailing me again as soon as something happens -- she gets her period or the EPT shows that she's pregnant or not ... Best wishes.

Follow up: He e-mailed to say that she got her period.

Q: For many years I have a persuasive fantasy of being castrated by a woman. Lately I became more and more committed to this fantasy and I want to pursue it. I am married for 18 years, in strictly monogamous relationship, have 2 teenage children and have a very satisfactory sex life with my wife. Most of all both of us enjoy oral sex with me bringing my wife to multiple orgasms with my tongue. My own orgasm is not so important to me and I want to become my wife's eunuch. I want my castration to be done by female medical staff only in a safe and painless manner. I am a medical professional and know everything about the consequences of castration, yet the advantages of being a eunuch greatly outweigh the disadvantages of this condition to me. Do I have a serious problem? What should I do?

A:   Because of the irreversible nature of castration, my recommendation would be to treat this just like any gender dysphoria case -- with extensive, careful psychological exploration. I strongly recommend that you attempt to contact men who have already had this done (whether volitionally or by trauma) for their opinions. My suspicion is that the fantasy is better than the reality, but with this one, there's no going back. Please err on the side of caution and be sure that this is not symbolic for other psychological reasons.

Q: Hi Doc, > > Hello there and my name is David from Malaysia. I have some >problem here and would like to ask you here for advice. > > I just have sex with my galfriend and when I feel that my sperm >is coming out from my penis, I quickly pushed her off from my body >cause I don't want her to get pregnant. But when I pulled out my penis >from her virginia, and I quickly press my penis so that my speem won't >come so fast. But she told me that there is a drop a liquid dropped at >her leg and she quiclky wiped it with a piece of tissue. And when I >took a look at the tissue and it don't looks like sperm. So doc, I >would like to ask you is, is that liquid at her leg is from the liquid >from her virginia? ( I heard that girl also have liquid in their >virginia ). She told me that her last period came on 13 April, and as >we know that, her period will be coming in a few days time. I heard >from my friend said that, girl will only get pregnant if we have sex >when it is 12-16 days after her period, is that true? So will she get >pregnant? Doc, please don't ask me bring her for medical check up >cause our parents don't know about our relationship. So I hope you can >help me here and thanks for everything. I really worry here cause I am >still a student here. Hope to receive your reply soon. Thanks.

A:  Dear David,

The drop could have come from her lubrication or from your penis, which deposits some fluid (which contains some sperm) prior to ejaculation.

Women with a "perfect" menstrual cycle can get pregnant around 10-17 days after their period starts, but few women are "perfect". So, yes, she COULD be pregnant.

There is a name for people who practice withdrawal of the penis at the last minute of intercourse: "Parents". Use a condom!

Women miss their period from pregnancy, stress, and anxiety. If she misses this period or is late, it could mean only that she is having a lot of anxiety about whether she is pregnant or not.

One day later, David writes again:

Hi Doc,

Hi there and his is David here again, I would like to say thank you to you for answering my question here yesterday. As you have already answer my question here but I think I still have some question to ask you here. May I know how am I going to conform that she is pregnant or not? Is that, if she really miss her this ( which will be coming in this few days time )period then she will get pregnant or if her period came than that means she won't get pregnant? She told me that she missed her period for around a month last year,and her period came again. ( We don't have sex at that time )And if she really get pregnant than what I have to do next? I really don't want my parents to know about it here. Please help and thanks! Bye! Yours sincerely, David

A:  If she misses her period, she's pregnant or stressed with anxiety (probably over the question of whether she's pregnant or not). If she gets her period -- menstrual flow -- she's not pregnant (or it's a medically extremely rare case). If she's pregnant, your choices are abortion or carrying the child to term with delivery. In the latter case, your choices are to keep the child (married or not) or give the child up for adoption. If David didn't know this, then I am sure that other readers don't either. Get sex educated any way you can (from knowledgeable sources).

Q: Dear Doc,

I am 19 years old,soon to be 20. I've been living with my boyfriend of over 1 year for about 6 months now. Our relationship took off pretty fast. When we first started off I loved to make love with him. I was crazy for sex. But it makes a while now(couple of months)that my sex drive has really been suffering.This is strange because I never had these sort of problems, especially so drastic. There was a time I couldn't stand him to touch me. This has really drowned our relationship. He thinks that I dont desire him, but thats not the point. I dont desire anything it seems. He has been so understanding( I couldnt ask for better)I hate to see him suffering. I am suffering as well. I am having problems that a 40 year old women has( little sexual desire, trouble lubricating,etc). What is wrong? Ive gone over may things: I have a good trusting loving relationship.I love him. I do not lust someone else. I have not been sexually abused. I have had many sexual experiences already(he is not my first). I am used to be very sexually active. I like sex. I have stress, but not that much. The only people I hear who have the same problems are twice my age! I have lost a lot of interest in sex and even started to look at it in a negative way now. I feel bad if I want to cuddle and he gets excited but I dont. This adversly makes us cuddle less because I dont want to disappoint him or lead him on when my response is negative. it hurts emotionally .We have both been trying hard, myself as well, inside of me, to solve this problem(its been really hard on our relationship).We've fought about it too. Lately there has been some improvement but I want to be like I was before. Also lubrication, or the lack of it, makes it very difficult and even painful to start off sex even if im feeling romantic. Do you have any natural solutions to my lubrification problem(no medication please), and maybe some suggestions for my desire problem(no pyschiatrists please). Please I am only 19 and should not be worrying about these kind of problems. Hoping to hear from you soon. M.

A: Dear M. Some questions can be adequately addressed by e-mail, and others need face to face clarification. You pose some questions then tie my hands in how I can answer. First:  While men reach their sexual peak at around 19, stay steady for the next 20 years, then slowly decline from about 39 to death, women are sort of the opposite. They bloom at 90% of their peak in late adolescence (around 17) and increase in their sexual appetite until death, dealing with the hormonal nuisances of menopause along the way. The biggest problem of a 40-year old woman is getting sex as often as she wants when her male S.O. is begging off! Lubrication is not a problem that emerges at this time (although it does around and after menopause). Second: For extra lubrication try Astroglide or liquid KY if you're using condoms, or try Albolene moisturizing make-up remover if you're not using condoms. That's the easy part. Third: A fertile starting point in dealing with your diminished sexual desire is the answer to the question: "Did anything happen a few months ago when this started?" Most often, people cannot see their own forest for the trees, and that's where a trained mental health person comes in most effectively. Also, if you can find no psychological reason, don't rule out hormones and/or other medical complications. This could be a signal of an endocrine problem. Your point is well taken, though: This should not be happening to a 19-year old. Search now for a solution -- the longer this goes on, the more complicated it becomes and the more emotional baggage will build up.

M. sends a second e-mail: I would like to know why I could never get an orgasm from oral sex or fingering. I have never had anything against it and I am sure I'm missing out on something. Why do other's problems consist of only getting orgasms from oral sex, vibrator(havent tried it but want to one day), masturbation(I can achieve orgasm by masturbation), etc..I would like to experience an orgasm like this. Any suggestions or special techniques that could help me get one?

(See I am trying to get back into the spirit of things, Trying new things, etc)

M. (again)

A:  It's less a matter of technique than your individual body's response. Although many people INITIALLY find it uncomfortable, I suggest that you masturbate while your S.O. watches intently, and afterward, he asks questions and you make comments on what feels good and why you change motions when you do. Then, he can attempt oral sex and fingering in ways that are more likely to bring you to orgasm. Of course, giving him precise feedback of what feels better and what doesn't do anything for you while he is giving you oral sex or fingering is a great help. If you train him right, you won't have to open your mouth (for talking, at least) in the future. Also: read the next Q/A

Q: Dear SexDoc, My girlfriend has never had an orgasm from me stimulating her, either through oral sex or intercourse. She has masturbated in front of me but that is different. She does not understand the frustration i feel when i cannot give her an orgasm. She thinks it is no big deal but i dont think she understands the satisfaction that I would get if i could satisfy her. How can I overcome this need to satisfy her myself when it is no big deal to her?

A:  The next time she masturbates in front of you take mental notes and try to duplicate what her body responds to. If you are uncertain, ask questions. The next time you stimulate her orally, ask that she give you precise feedback on what to do. I would never want you to "overcome" the need to provide her with maximum pleasure, leading to orgasm. That's what makes a good lover a great lover! She might never achieve an orgasm during intercourse (only 40% of women do). Stimulate her clitoris during intercourse. Discover fun positions in which this is possible.

NOTE:  When most men stroke their penis, some is good and more is better. When a clitoris is stimulated, the touch is usually 5% of the force with which men touch their penis (or like to have their penis touched). In addition, to the clitoris, some is good but more can cause numbness. "Why didn't you tell me!?" He says to her. To which she replies: "I was afraid that if I suggested a different touch that you would take that as a criticism!" People: tell each other what feels better and what doesn't!

Q: Hello Dr Fitz, I'm a 22 yr old male from India. I am a guy with a pretty normal health except for a few things. a) I am an extremely horny guy & I mastrubate around 4-5 times a day. b) I think that I have a relatively small penis which comes out to be around 6- 6.5" after errection. c) The other thing is that my penis , after errection curves a little bit to the right.

My friend told me that I have Pyronie's disease & I will never be able to satisfy any woman with that size(6.5") and a curved penis. What I want to know is that is my friend telling the truth?I have had many a sleepless nights thinking about this.I am still a virgin & I haven't had sex as yet.I would be really greatful if you let me know whether penetration is possible with a little curved penis?Is it okay to continue with a curved penis?Will it be painful for me as well as my partner?Will she laugh at me after seeing my size n' shape?.

I request you to answer my question ASAP & kindly suggest a treatment if there is one..Please. Yours Truly Larry

A: Dear Larry, 4-5 orgasms per day are unexceptional. The worst that can happen is that you'll chafe the skin on your penis causing friction blisters or sores. Use plenty of lubricant if necessary. The average erect penis is 5". Guys with three inches or less have a problem as do guys longer than 7.5" -- depending on the woman, they ram the cervix or the vaginal wall resulting in a partner who says "No more!". A little curvature is common! I challenge your friend's diagnosis unless he or she is a Urologist. Peyronie's disease causes a pretty radical departure from the straight. Ask a medical doctor in person the next time you have a chance. Penetration is possible; it won't be painful because of the size or curvature (it could be from other reasons, of course), and I don't know whether she'll laugh -- you'll just have to find out. Best Wishes

Q: Is there a way to give a woman an orgasm without penetration? I mean, can you touch her to give her one?

A:  90% of women can achieve orgasm from clitoral stimulation alone. 40% of women can achieve orgasm from penile-vaginal thrusting alone.

Q: Dear Dr. Fitz,

I actually have two questions. First, after I have an orgasm from oral sex or from manual (fingering) sex, my clitoris gets very sensive and it is very uncomfortable if it is touched even lightly. It takes a while before the sensitivity fades. My partner and I would like to be able to continue oral sex before intercourse. I was wondering how common this is and if there is anything we can do to decrease the sensitivity to continue with oral sex right after I have an orgasm.

My second question is sometimes when we start to make love, I am aroused and eager, but my clitoris is very sensitive to the touch and this is before I have an orgasm. We usually start foreplay with touching and kissing before we move on to genital touching. I am usually lubricted by this point but the sensitivity is still there. WHy does this happen?

Thank you, Heather

A:  Dear Heather and all other women afflicted with this problem, and all the women who think that they wish that they were, and all the guys who are sneering and wishing that their main squeeze had this problem: Just as diminished sensation is a problem, so is hypersensitivity! I have had patients who used desensitizing creams, band-aids, gauze pads, booze, tight panties with a slit allowing only vaginal penetration and minimizing clitoral contact, etc. Just as people vary in height, hair color, and intelligence, people have more or less sensitivity in their nipples, penis, clitoris, anus, or perineum! In the normal curve of sensitivity, you're at the high end. I suggest that you work on ways to blunt the sensation -- a piece of cloth held fairly tightly from your naval to your vagina might work. Maybe not. If not, time and no contact are your only allies. By the way, some guys have this, too. Immediately after an orgasm, any touch on the tip of the penis whatsoever feels like fire! If you have to be away from the norm, please console yourself with the direction your neurology took -- it's better than feeling constantly anesthetized, needing prolonged vigorous stimulation to achieve orgasm! But it is a problem.

Q:   Dear Sex Doc, I am a 28 year old mother of an 18 month old boy and a wife who has a problem with sex in general. I was sexually molested by my great-grandfather when I was about 7 or 8. I am not sure with the exact age. I can remember the event fairly well and what may seem as a small molestation I am having problems with my husband and our sex life. I am not sure if you want me to explain what happened but I will briefly say that my great-grandfather came to our house and spent a couple of days with us and I was ousted out of my bed so my g-grandfather could sleep in it. I got scared in the middle of the night and I went into my room where he was sleeping and I got in the bed with him. The next thing I remember he put his hands down my pants a fondled me. I am not sure if this happened once or twice or even more times while he visited. After the incident I guess I blocked it out of my mind but still always remembered it. As I grew up I became veery aware of my body and remembered that this felt good.(oh I feel like I am going to throw up - I have never said that) I began masturbating and letting boys grab, grope whatever they wanted to do. As the years went by I lost my virginity at the age of 16 and had several sex partners by the time I met my future husband. Noe I have a very hard time letting my husband touch, look, grab whatever. I am not into fore-play at all. This is obviously upsetting my husband and our sex relationship. How do I let what happened to me go and start enjoying my husband? I can't seem to block this out of my mind and it hurts. I must tell you that I have told my husband about this but I have never told anybody else until now. I have been ashamed of the incident and guilty because of it.

Dear Reader: I am publicizing something intensely personal because it is so common, and here, on this web page, it is anonymous. Thanks to the author who sent this -- she has been carrying around shame and guilt for 20 years! Yes, at the time it did feel good, but that wasn't the only feeling. Along with the good sensations coming from her body I am sure -- I know -- that she was also feeling " ... uh oh ... yucky!" This is too common! The body sensations are nice; there is a feeling of getting away with something -- sort of a hand in the cookie jar feeling. But the brain is saying that something is wrong. The confusion is compounded if the child returns on other nights for a repetition of the same thing. The adult question is "If it felt so bad, why did you keep on coming back for more?" And the answer is that at the time, the balance of pain/pleasure weighed on the pleasure side. It is not until later that remorse sets in and the pendulum swings, causing the person to ask, in anguish, "How could I have gone back for more?"

This definitely needs face to face therapy. Any 28-year old is more flexibly able to respond to intervention than most 38, 48, or 58 year olds (although many people, molested men as well as women, wait for more years before concluding that their life is suffering enough to get help). "I have never told anybody else until now" The first step to healing has been taken. Good studies estimate that by the age of 18, one in four women and one in seven men will have been sexually molested. All of you out there: Please stop suffering in silence and get help before too many years go by. The passage of time without intervention both steals -- wastes -- years of precious time for your life, and makes it harder and longer to deal with. A child seen in therapy 24 hours after a molest can be treated in a very short time. The passage of time between event and treatment is 10 times more damaging than the original event(s) themselves.

You have taken the first step, by telling me. Now take the next and get into competent therapy.

Q: Hello. I have a question about masturbation . Everybody says that it is a perfectly safe activity . Then why do people feel so low , sad , and "flat" afterwards? Obviously the reason is not the old and easy explanation about guilt and religious influences because people who are not sexually inhibited also feel like that . >From things I read here and there it would appear that during orgasm endorphins released cause a high and then the low that is mistakenly attributed to guilt. Are there any concrete scientific results ? Thank you.

A:   I do not know of any concrete scientific results, but my inference from 30+ years of clinical practice is that because you have a slow but steady release of endorphins during pleasuring, followed by a big spurt of endorphins coincident with orgasm, that the contrast between the massive jolt of both "feel good" and the anesthetic component, and what you feel afterwards, is misinterpreted as "flat and sad". I think a good analogy is a roller coaster. The anticipation is exciting; the actual ride is short but exhilirating. What you feel afterwards is, by contrast, boring. Make sense?

Q: What do you think about using desensitizing creams for anal sex?

A:  Dear Reader -- usually the Sexdoc would answer this question on an "anal sex" page, but because this applies so broadly to other areas of sex and because it is so important, I am taking the liberty of replying here. PAIN SERVES A PURPOSE. Desensitizing creams are mild topical anesthetics, causing nerves to "sleep", so as to not transmit a pain signal. Used on the penis to prolong erections is recreational and does not mask pain (although if you don't use a condom you'll also anesthetize your partner, so neither of you can come -- as many a sophomore has found out the hard way). Used on the anus, the only purpose of desensitizing creams is to mask pain. If it hurts, you're not doing it right! (setting aside for the moment any discussion of S&M) Take the time to learn to do it right so the question of desensitizing cream is unnecessary!

Q: Dear Sex Doc, Recently, much to my embarrassment and shame, my husband admitted that he doesn't like the way I kiss, or make love to him. He stated that my movements are jerky, and mechanical. I have never heard this before, and in fact, I had thought that I was a pretty sexy person. What should I do? Where can I learn techniques that will excite him? HELP!!! If you ever print this letter, please don't use my name. Just sign me as Maria. Thanks ever so much!

A:  Dear Maria, (And all readers): It isn't about "technique"! It's about what this particular lover likes and doesn't like. My FIRST blush reaction is: "Hey -- wait a minute. Are you sure this is about kissing and jerky, mechanical movements? -- Is this a disguised message about dissatisfaction with the relationship or a disguised desire to experience other lovers?" The "proof" will be to ask him to give you precise feedback on what his body likes. If he tells you and you do it (and remember to keep on doing it), great. If he can't put it into words, see a therapist to uncover what I suspect is "really" going on.

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