Sexual skeletons
Kim Carney / msnbc.com
By msnbc.com contributor
msnbc.com contributor
updated 10/25/2007 8:42:45 AM ET 2007-10-25T12:42:45

Should a woman call it quits after finding out her husband-to-be once had a wild time with a transvestite? Any suggestions for what to call a guy during sex? Should a woman be shushed in the sack? And can ecstasy be nauseating?

Sexploration answers your most intimate queries. Got a question? E-mail us .

Q: Recently a long-time mutual friend told me that my boyfriend of four years paid to receive oral sex from a transvestite during a spring-break vacation back in college. I cannot put this new information out of my head. I don't see how I can marry my boyfriend now and bring children into this situation. I confronted him (not about the transvestite, so as not to break my promise of confidence to our friend) and asked if he is gay. He swore he is not. But I am lost and confused. Why would a good-looking, confident, intelligent and successful man who could get any girl choose a transvestite?

A: Do the words “back in college” and “spring break” not mean anything to you?

If we judged all potential spouses on what happened on Padre Island, we would conclude that marriages consist of boob-flashing, chugging beer through plastic hoses and waking up next to people we know only as “Michigan State.”

Why did he receive oral sex from a transvestite? Who knows. There have actually been some studies to show that most men who do are straight, not gay.

According to Erick Janssen, a researcher with the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, “it could have been an experiment. What it means in terms of this person’s sexual orientation is not a simple matter.”

Maybe he got a thrill from breaking a taboo. Maybe he thought he might be gay, did not want to admit it to himself, and figured oral sex from a man dressed as a woman avoided his fears. Or, suggests Janssen, “it could be the other way around, that a person dressed as a woman makes it easier to fantasize that [the transvestite] really is a woman.”

Or maybe he just swilled too much Jägermeister.

Many people have all sorts of sex in their pasts. You never fooled around with a guy you wish you hadn’t? Half the women I knew in college — at least the English and art majors — had a lesbian experience. Didn’t necessarily make them lesbian.

But you are clearly upset by the thought, so maybe you just have to ask your boyfriend directly about the incident, and be willing to hear his explanation/denial/confirmation. Whether his response becomes a deal-breaker is entirely up to you.

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Oh, and this “mutual friend”? He’s a schmuck. 

Q: My boyfriend says he likes name-calling during sex. I am not quite sure what to say. What do you call a guy during sex?

A: "AWESOME!"

Remarking on our likeness to male thoroughbred horses is also appreciated. Man O’ War? How about superheroes? Iron Man? (Flash is probably a bad idea.) Or villains. Juggernaut?

References to skyscrapers, redwood trees, Louisville Sluggers, the battleship Missouri, naughty boys, your plumber, kingliness, masters, slaves, lawn boys, Greek gods — they can all be good. Try to avoid names like “Rodrigo,” especially if you once dated a Rodrigo.

You could also try asking him. 

Q: My boyfriend shushes me during sex. He’s paranoid our neighbors will hear us. Sometimes I feel like I’m restricted during the most intimate times. I’ve tried explaining that making noise is part of expressing yourself during sex. Any other suggestions?

A: Experts are always telling us that sex is a multisensory experience. That includes sound. And talk can appeal to one’s imagination.

On the other hand, having once lived downstairs from a couple who had gymnastic sex at least twice a day for more than a year, I can see your boyfriend’s concern.

You could try waiting until the neighbors leave. Or moving to an apartment with brick or concrete walls. Or asking the neighbors to approach your boyfriend, saying “Geez, we never hear you having sex. Everything OK?” — even if they have to lie.   

Q: I’m a multiple-orgasmic person, so much so that I sometimes feel really sick afterwards. Do you know why this is? How can I stop it without having to stop orgasming as much as I do?

A: “I have had a few women who have said that, particularly in the setting of more vigorous or active intercourse, they sometimes feel sort of nauseated,” reports Dr. Tracy Zinner, a gynecologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

She thinks it could be a “vagal reaction,” perhaps caused by pressure on your cervix, especially with deep penetration. That could cause uterine cramping, stimulating your vagus nerve, which, in turn, can cause you to feel a little queasy. Women sometimes feel this way during pelvic exams or Pap smears. Low blood pressure might contribute to the feeling.

Zinner suggests making sure you are not dehydrated, having sex with your head lower than your knees (you figure it out), and mentioning the effect to your doctor at your next exam to be sure there is nothing seriously wrong.  

MSNBC.com columnist and Glamour magazine contributing editor Brian Alexander’s book, “America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction,” will be published Jan. 15 by Crown/Harmony Books.

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