Sex! Even the self-styled experts among us have questions. So we invited you to look deep within and ask absolutely anything of a real expert -- Ian Kerner
, author of "She Comes First
" and our on-call sex PhD. And you came through with questions about libido, losin' It (your virginity, that is) and, of course, queefing.
Here's the first half of your questions and Ian's answers, just in time for Valentine's Day. (Check back soon for part two, in which he addresses male "frigidity" and May-December sex). Leave your burning questions in the comments, and Ian may answer them, too.
Q: My husband and I haven't had sex in six months (since our honeymoon). I want it, but every time I try and initiate it or tell him I want it, he says no. Anything I can do?
According to a recent CNN report, over 40 million Americans are stuck in a sex rut. So you're not alone. But geez! Six months without sex, when you're married, is more than just a rut -- it's a deep-freeze.
When sex evacuates a relationship, that relationship becomes increasingly vulnerable -- to infidelity, resentment and indifference. You've got to figure this out. You've only been married six months, and a love life is a terrible thing to waste.
I think you should go pronto to the Web site for the American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists
and use the zip-code locator to find a professional in your area. Your husband may refuse to go to counseling, but that shouldn't stop you from going on your own and seeking help. Even if money is tight, it's cheaper than a divorce, and sometimes all it takes is a few sessions to help you figure out a constructive next step.
Have you tried to talk to your husband? What's the deal? Is he depressed? Has he gone on medication? Is he spending too much time on the Internet and getting "overly graphic with his graphics"? Has marriage brought on new financial stressors that weigh heavily on his mind? Whatever it is, the guy's got to start to talking!
Don't let this situation destroy your self-esteem, which frequently happens when a person has been sexually rejected time after time. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. And, P.S. -- stock up on batteries and keep that vibrator humming. Just because he's sexually shut down doesn't mean you should be.
Q: I always get so turned on and ready to go -- but as soon as I finish I'm just bored and don't want to continue. Being a female I get really embarrassed when I come too quickly and then can't continue. What should I do?
Well, considering that nearly 1 out of 3 men suffer from premature ejaculation, and that many women take longer to reach orgasm than their male partners, your situation is rarer. I wrote my book, "She Comes First
," so that men could exercise a little sexual courtesy and develop techniques that ensured mutual satisfaction. Perhaps you need to do the same.
Try to reach orgasm simultaneously, or let him come first and then follow fast on the heels of his orgasm with your own. After a guy ejaculates, and depending upon his age, he'll usually remain hard for about two minutes. Use this two-minute window to your advantage. As soon as he's done, climb up on top and climax.
If that doesn't work, try having a glass of wine or two before sex. Alcohol retards autonomic nervous system responses and generally slows down the process of arousal.
Q: I have been examined by a doctor and all is A-OK with my lady parts, but I still feel pain when I have sex. The pain feels further up, close to my cervix and it can get so bad that I want to quit halfway through knockin' boots. The doc hinted that it could be that my boink buddy is well endowed (affirmative!). What can we do so I'm moaning from pleasure, not pain?
Painful intercourse is quite common for women and can occur for a variety of reasons. By locating the source of the pain (as you have done) as close to the surface of the vulva or deeper towards the cervix, that's one important step. You've identified the pain as feeling cervical, so it could indeed be a result of your boyfriend's penis-size, as well as any aggressive thrusting, which is generally called "collision dyspareunia." You might have a cervical infection, or a fibroid, or some combination of the above that's making your particularly sensitive. Either way, painful sex is no fun.
Do you have a history of bladder infections? I know you said you went to a gynecologist, but it might be worth going again just to make sure you can rule out endometriosis, PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), cysts and fibroids.
In general, the vagina adapts to the size of a guy's penis, so most females should be able to accommodate most males, but if your boyfriend is too big, you should definitely be using more lubrication. Also, there's a penis ring available in the UK called "Come Close" that's specifically designed to help with this problem -- you can call them and arrange for a delivery to the States. Or you can go to a U.S. site like babeland.com
and look for a penis ring that is thicker and can serve as a barrier.
Finally, there are positions like side-by-side, in which you can more easily take matters into your own hands and guide the rhythm of sex. But you really
need to make him aware of the situation. Does it hurt as soon as you have sex or as he's getting closer to orgasm and increasing the pace of his thrusts? If the latter, you can bring him to orgasm via oral sex or manual stimulation and avoid the more painful parts of the process.
Q: Do guys have an equivalent to a girl's queef?
"Queefs" or "vaginal farts" or whatever term you want to use to describe the expulsions of air that sometimes occur during, or just after, intercourse are caused by a vacuum of air that builds up naturally during the process of arousal and, like a violin and bow, the sound wouldn't be produced if not for the participation of both. So a guy can't "queef," per se, but he may have a hand in creating yours.
Q: How do you prepare yourself for your first time? (Especially without telling your partner that it is, in fact, your first time?)
First off, it's important that you're aroused, physically and mentally, so spend lots of time on foreplay. Kiss, touch and talk. That should help with natural lubrication and reduce some of the pain.
If he's using a condom -- which he should be -- make sure it's a lubricated one. You can even buy a pack yourself and have one on-hand, along with some water-based lube.
I'd suggest you try the side-by-side position. Not only does this afford lots of eye-contact and reinforce the experience of love-making (your first time should be meaningful), it also allows you to exert some control over his thrusting. Don't expect to have an orgasm, or worry about having one. It takes a little while to develop routines that ensure mutual satisfaction.
But why not tell him it's your first time? Are you afraid of seeming inexperienced? If it's your first time and your hymen is still intact prior to sex, there's a good chance he's going to know. In any event, being able to talk about sex honestly and openly is at the heart of a satisfying relationship. It's better to be open and honest than to create a pattern of little deceptions that quickly add up. And any guy who doesn't appreciate it's your first time probably isn't worthy of being your first.
Ian Kerner is a clinical sexologist whose books on sexuality include "Sex Recharge," "Passionista: The Empowered Woman's Guide to Pleasuring a Man," and "She Comes First," now available in paperback.