Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Q. I'm 28 and my boyfriend is 32. We've been together for six years, we love each other and talk about our future - but he wants kids and I don't. He thinks I'll change my mind but I don't want him to pin his hopes on it. The thought of having a baby terrifies me - I'm too selfish and would make a terrible mum. I don't want him to miss out on a family but I can't bear the thought of splitting up.

A. Your fear of having a baby suggests there's an issue to be put to rest. Was the relationship with your mother rocky? Or do you fear the pain of delivery? Why not have counselling to put your mind at rest? If you still feel you don't want a child - and understand the reasons for this - you can use the evidence of counselling to persuade your boyfriend you won't change your mind. He can then make an informed decision. But if you decide to continue with your childless relationship, there could be a price to pay in the future. The best thing to do now is be honest - not just with him, but with yourself.

Q. I'm intimidated by my girlfriend's ex. We use the same gym and I've noticed his huge tackle in the shower. She must be really disappointed with me; I don't measure up. Tell me the truth - does size matter?

A. If women could shop for the ideal 'equipment' from the pick-a-penis store, the short thin ones would be the last to sell, along with the elephant-sized specimens. But if a perfect penis were all it took to keep us happy, we'd buy talking dildos. Sadly, for guys like your girlfriend's ex, it takes more than top tackle to satisfy us. Size does matter but not as much as making her laugh or giving her great head.

PS: nothing good comes from looking at men in showers - unless you're a woman, of course!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Q. My husband's penis is enormous, and all my friends are jealous. What I can't tell them is that if he puts anything more than the tip of it inside me, it really hurts. What can I do?

A. When talk turns to penises, the general how-can-it-be-wrong consensus is that bigger is better. But that's not always the case. The Karma Sutra, the ancient book of lovemaking, claims that men's and women's genitals come in three different sizes. While we now know it's not as simple as saying you're a small, medium or large, the message is clear - not everyone's 'moan zones' match up perfectly. But if your man is more of an XL, it doesn't have to be a problem if you take it slow and switch to shallow-penetration positions. Don't feel awkward and waste time subtly suggesting you try something new tonight - just jump him. Straddle your man on a padded armchair so you can control how deep he goes. Or try spooning, where you both lie on your sides, him behind you. Less of him equals more fun for you. And don't forget to make a lubricant a bedside-drawer must-have from now on.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Q. My ex made me feel ugly and worthless, and cheated on me. Now I'm with a nice guy but I'm possessive and jealous. I compare myself to everyone and I feel horrible. Whenever we go out I think he's looking at other women and it ends in tears. Please help - its ruining us.

A. Two truths about chronic jealousy; first, it's a barometer of low self-esteem. You think you're worthless so how can you ever believe a partner should - or will - value you? Second, jealousy gets what it expects. Constantly accused of infidelity, your partner eventually shrugs and says, 'What the hell!' Your jealousy springs from the little girl within who didn't think she deserved to be loved and hasn't yet learnt to love herself. Help her grow up. Change your style, your hobbies, maybe even your job. Doing creative and absorbing things will make you think better of yourself. Design a productive and proud new you. And if you need help, don't be too shy to seek out supportive counselling.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Q. I still love my husband but we just don't have good sex any more. He thinks it's a problem with my libido, but I fantasise about other men all the time. What can I do? I can't force myself to find him attractive.

A. No, but you can look at what's getting in the way of it. Think back to when you first met; what turned you on? Remember the things you did and the effort you made. Great sex is like a buy now, pay later offer; the first few years are free, but at some point you have to join forces to keep the momentum going. Accept this and start working on sexy solutions. Missing the thrill of unknown? Demand oral sex in the car. Missing the excitement of baring yourself to a stranger? Ask him to blindfold you, strip you and touch you while wearing leather gloves. The answers are in your imagination.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Q. My boyfriend comes after just a few thrusts and it's killing me. Sometimes he lasts longer but only if he keeps stopping, which is really frustrating. I was patient at first but now I get angry about it and would rather just not bother. Is there anything he can do to improve his staying power?

A. I completely get your frustration, but it's probably making things worse. Premature ejaculation affects 30% to 40% of men and is nearly always caused or made worse by stress. He knows he's letting you down and probably feels awful about it. This isn't just his problem to fix on his own. You're part of the problem and part of the cure. Try to stop wasting energy on feeling angry and take action instead. Start by apologising for laying on the pressure and stick to non-penetrative sex while you try some new ways of improving things - together. Try a delay spray, if he's willing and not offended by the suggestion. Some work very well, numbing the over sensitive nerves in his penis but don't push him to try it, use it as play rather than a solution.

Q. I'm really disturbed by my fantasies. In real life I like gentle, loving sex, but when I masturbate, I think about being tied up and forced to do things with horrible strangers - men and women. This isn't normal, is it?

A. Few people, if answering honestly, would say their sexual fantasies were of the fuzzy, romantic type - we can have that in real life, so what would be the point? Fantasies tell a story about our darker desires and, as long as they stay in our heads, can do no harm. Our sexual thoughts are a collection of images we've been absorbing from the world since early childhood, often subconsciously, so it's impossible to say exactly why we're really turned on by something. Bondage is about submission, humiliation and exhibitionism - popular fantasy themes for women. So in answer to your question, your sex fantasies are entirely normal and are only disturbing if you allow them to disturb you.

Q. I'm in my late twenties and have had no serious relationships. I'll often meet a guy and sleep with him almost immediately - the drama and passion of a one-night stand gives me a high. I'm starting to worry I'm addicted to meaningless sex. How can I stop?

A. It sounds like you have a sexual addiction, which experts define as any sexual activity that feels out of control. In most cases, a sex addict feels compelled to have sex regardless of any problems it may cause in their lives. There are many theories as to how sex becomes addictive - it may be to do with the high of sexual power and control, or the chemicals that our bodies release during sex. As with any addiction, between the highs of sexual contact are the lows, which often relate to feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety. These laws can lead to a negative cycle where the addict feels alone and depressed, so they seek out sex to escape their negative feelings. If you feel your sexual behaviour is out of control, acknowledge that its affecting other parts of your life - and more importantly, that it won't go away by itself. Overcoming an addiction on your own is difficult, but a specialist psychologist can help you understand and guide you through the recovery process (try www.bacp.co.uk to find one in your area).

Q. I've just had my first Brazilian wax and when I got home, I looked in the mirror to see the result. I'd never seen myself down there before and was horrified. I hate the way it looks. I've stopped enjoying oral sex now because all I can think about is how ugly it is.

A. Thankfully, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, clearly, whoever's giving you oral sex doesn't agree with you. It's essential we explore our bodies if we're going to enjoy sex. So you're a bit freaked out about meeting your vagina - that's understandable, but don't let it spoil your fun (or your man's). Luckily we don't have to find our body bits attractive in order to have great sex - we just have to accept that men do, and be grateful for it. Also, remember that you can look a bit battered after a wax - think what you've just put your body through! Leave it a few days and you'll probably look less red and swollen.

Q. My boyfriend loves having sex with me doggy style, but I find it painful. He slows down when I ask him to (he likes it fast) but even then its still uncomfortable. It's his biggest turn-on so I don't want to stop him, but is there a way to make it less painful?

A. Men like doggy style precisely because they can go faster and deeper. Holding your hips gives him ultimate control, not to mention a great view of the action, but if its hurting you or you're not enjoying it - STOP! Sex shouldn't hurt. Whether his penis is too big, he's starting before you're fully turned on or you just don't like being pummelled from behind, grin-and-bear-it sex belongs in a Victorian museum, not a modern girls bedroom. Firstly take control: try girl-on-top but face away so he's looking at the back of you. Bend forward and move as deep and as fast as you like. If he needs to go faster (to orgasm), lift yourself off him but stay there and use your hands to finish him off. If he's worth the effort, his biggest turn-on will actually be your pleasure. Secondly, go to the doctor for a check-up, just to make sure there is no medical reason for that position to hurt you. It can be a sign of an underlying problem.

Q. My girlfriend's bossy most of the time, but in the bedroom, she totally takes over. At first it was sexy having her in charge but I'm starting to feel like her 'bitch'. I'm a metrosexual kind of guy but I still want to feel like a man. That's OK, right?

A. Are you asking my permission? Okay, if you get down on your knees and ask nicely....! When you offer someone the reins, you can't complain when they're taken. You say you want to feel like a man. How does a man feel? Strong, fearless and always in charge of his woman? Being metrosexual means you see yourself as equal to women; that you don't adhere to age-old gender stereotypes. Being like this is making you afraid to take a stand and that's neither manly or womanly - it' s just plain wussy. If you want things to be different, do them differently. She might actually like you to take charge but you have to be convincingly confident or she'll see straight through it. So next time you're in the mood, pull her down onto the bed and tell her exactly what you're going to do.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Q. I've met a man I really like, who adores me. The sex is mind-blowing - he knows what I want before I do. I'm 24 and he's 20 years older than me and much more sexually experienced. I'm worried it shows and that he's not getting as much out of it as I am.

A. Believe me - he is. He's spending time with a beautiful young woman who lets him see her naked. That's a pretty fair exchange! Also, no matter how many other women's bodies he's known, he's as new to yours as you are to his. You're equally experienced when it comes to each other. What those extra years give him over you is sexual confidence, a gift that the Gods of Growing Older bestow upon the ageing to make up for wrinkles. Given a choice, I'd rather be a learner than a teacher when it comes to sex!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Q. Six months ago, I got involved with a 35 year old man. I knew he was seeing someone but he won me over with all the attention and, to be honest, the great sex. After two months he confessed that, not only was he seeing someone, but he was also engaged to her and she was expecting their child. By then we were really close and I didn't want to lose him. Even though they're now married, he promises me we'll be together. I'm about to go abroad with work - would I be foolish to hope he'll leave his wife soon?

A. Yes, you would be foolish to hope he leaves his wife soon. You would be foolish to hope he'll leave his wife at all! Any man that 'gets close' to one woman while engaged to another who is pregnant with his child is certainly not a good candidate for lasting love. Unfortunately, knowing her hope to be foolish never stopped any woman hoping; on the contrary, this wishful thinking accounts for a large percentage of misery. If he was going to leave he would have chosen to do it before he signed the marriage certificate. He married her but chose to keep you hanging around, would you really want to be with a man who could be so cruel? While you're abroad, try to communicate with your lover as little as possible - or not at all if you're really smart. In the meantime, take advantage of the new job, new culture and new people you'll meet. Please don't end up making a fool of yourself for this man who's definitely not good enough for either of the women who are waiting on him.

Q. My girlfriend's just admitted to faking most of her orgasms with me. I'm really angry and confused - am I that bad she has to pretend? How could I not know? I feel so dumb. How will I know if she fakes it again? I don't think I can trust her anymore.

A. OK, you feel betrayed because she lied, foolish because you were oblivious and worried it reflects badly on your skills. All reasonable reactions. But now consider the courage it took for her to 'fess up. She trusted you with the truth and laid herself bare - this isn't the time to stop trusting her. You're shocked and disappointed but you can easily move past this by trying to understand why. Girls fake it because they worry about taking too long, or about the way they smell, taste or look. Some are so keen to please that they forget to please themselves, or they just don't want to be too much trouble. Ask about her reasons. Reassure her you're interested in learning about the real her, no matter how long it takes. Trust is the bedrock of great sex and you should start right here, right now.

Q. An ex-boyfriend is confusing me. Recently he's been dropping hints about how much he still likes me and when we met up we ended up sleeping together. In the morning he acted like nothing had happened and later emailed me for advice about a woman he'd met. One minute he says I'm like his little sister, then he says he thinks about me all the time and wants to be my 'prince'. My friends think he's messing me about because he's 24 and I'm 19.

A. This guy is being controlled by organs that are lower down and more impulsive than his brain. Don't hang around waiting for him to make up the mind he isn't using. Go out and meet people, and keep your options open. Don't sleep with him again because every time you do, it will start you hoping for what he can't give you - a relationship. Five male years in the teens and early twenties aren't the same as five female years. He has to mature a few more before he can be taken seriously - or take himself seriously - as a partner in love.

Q. I recently watched porn with my boyfriend for the first time. It was sexy but, ever since, he's been bringing home harder and harder stuff and I feel really uncomfortable about it. He just laughs at me and says I'm naive - am I?

A. I'll tell you what's naive - thinking it's OK to manipulate someone into doing something they don't want to do. It seems that some men find it difficult to understand why hardcore images can upset women so much. I say let's make those men sit and watch a film in which a young man gets gang-banged by a bunch of massive hairy gorillas over a snooker table, while loads of other gorillas laugh about how much he looks like he's enjoying it - then ask them if they're getting closer to the picture! If porn is going to play a part in your sex life, you have to be in control of what you watch. If he's not willing to take you seriously, there are plenty of lovely guys out there who will.