What are some ways to motivate a lazy lover? Can a man's Peyronie's disease cause a woman to have sexual pain? And is this guy's fantasy just too twisted? Sexploration answers your queries. Have an intimate question? To e-mail us, click here .
Q1: My husband is a very caring, selfless person, but has not done much sexual exploration. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but I would really love for us to have more than a “10-minute missionary position” sex life. How can I motivate him to try new things?
Q2: My husband and I have been together for 13 years, married for nine. I am trying to get him to try new sexual things but even though he says he's all for it, when I try to suggest this or that, he gets upset. What should I do?
A: Sex is like golf.
What seems simple — getting the ball in the hole — can be complicated unless somebody teaches you. And even if you are taught, every course you play is just different enough to demand tweaking your game. There is always something new to learn.
People don’t usually storm off the course if somebody gives them a tip. But when it comes to sex, we can be pretty touchy.
So Mark Schoen, a sex therapist affiliated with the Sinclair Institute, a maker of instructional sex films, suggests “making it one step removed from me and you. Have a book that talks about what you are interested in and read it to your partner. Then say, ‘What do you think of that?’ Get a reaction.”
Schoen also recommends videos (naturally), but not just his company’s merchandise. Porn can serve as a kind of mediator, too.
“If you see something in the film, you can say, ‘Maybe that is something we might want to try.’ That makes it a little bit easier because you are talking about people on screen,” he says.
If this still doesn't work, and you are dissatisfied, it's time to see a therapist.
Q: I have Peyronie’s disease and my wife frequently complains of cramps after sex. Can the two be related?
Don't miss these Health stories
More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.
- Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
- Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
- CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
- What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says
- More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
A: Probably not, says Dr. Arthur Burnett, a Peyronie’s expert at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md.
For those of you who don’t know, Peyronie’s is a disease named for a French doctor that causes the formation of fibrous material on the erectile tissue of the penis. It is thought to develop after some sort of trauma to the penis, often during sex itself. Conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease can also contribute or make the effects of Peyronie’s worse, so to repeat (as this column often does) good sexual health comes from good overall health. Get off the damn couch!
Peyronie’s causes the penis to bend, sometimes dramatically. Erections can become painful, the penis can shrink in length and erectile dysfunction can occur.
As for your wife, Burnett says, “because of the angulation and deformity of the penis” intercourse can be uncomfortable for women, “but as a cause of cramping afterward, that is something I have never heard in all my years.”
He suggests your wife seek the opinion of a gynecologist to make sure she is not suffering from some condition of her own.
Q: My sexual fantasy is fun and harmless, but women refuse because the fantasy is of me being a teenage boy on a date with a girl when all hell breaks loose and her girlfriends wallop me good! How can I convince women that’s alright? Where can I go for women to act out my fantasy?
A: Well, you could try carrying a Playboy into a concert by a riot grrrl band, but have you thought about hiring a dominatrix?
For some, walloping you good could be part of their job description.
Brian Alexander is a California-based writer who covers sex, relationships and health. Alexander, also a Glamour contributing editor, is traveling around the country to find out how Americans get sexual satisfaction for the MSNBC.com special report "America Unzipped" and in an upcoming book for Harmony, an imprint of Crown Publishing.
Sexploration appears every other Thursday.
© 2013 msnbc.com. Reprints