Duane Hoffmann / MSNBC
By msnbc.com contributor
msnbc.com contributor
updated 2/26/2004 7:44:33 PM ET 2004-02-27T00:44:33

In this month’s Sexploration, our new columnist, Brian Alexander, responds to a woman who's wondering if her husband's fantasy is for real, offers some guidance to a young man on his first time, and tackles a question by another reader who's interested in learning more about prostate massage. Have an intimate question? To e-mail us, click here .

Q:  My husband of 13 years has begun to express sexual fantasies that I am too embarrassed to ask friends about. While he has always been interested in my sexual history (I'm 39 and he's 40), lately he's been wanting me to tell him details about sex with previous partners, including their penis size, and whether I would be interested in sleeping with them again. He also says he wants me to have affairs and would like to watch or at least have me describe the experience to him during our lovemaking. He says he doesn't have any specific men in mind; he seems to just enjoy thinking about me sleeping with other guys. 

I am concerned for several reasons. First, he often needs me to talk about sex with other men in order for him to climax. Second, I worry that he really is serious about wanting me to see other men, and if so, what that means for my marriage. Third, I wonder if he's trying to assuage a guilty conscious (I've often suspected him of cheating on me). And lastly, if for some reason I took him up on his offer (something I admit I do think about) what would his reaction be when confronted with the reality?

A: Oh, room service waiter! Don’t remove that cart just yet, please. My wife, who as you can see seems to have forgotten her panties, requires your attention.

Substitute pool boy, boss, gardener, co-worker, toolbelt-wearing carpenter, Bill Clinton’s cigar or McGruff the Crime Dog and you have the plot of a thousand porn movies. Why? Because men like naughty, horny women.

At 20, most guys are too worried about our own studliness to enjoy the thought of another man thrilling a woman we love. But middle-agers who’ve been married a long time are usually pretty secure. So it’s safe to imagine their wives as the town sluts. 

Too much of anything is limiting, of course, but this isn’t dangerous unless it really happens and I’m betting he’s not up for that, no matter what he says. He might want to truly believe you are capable of picking up a bartender and having a shag fest in the alley, but among people I know who have had threesomes, swapped partners, or watched, such episodes always seem to end in what they describe as “weirdness.” A line was crossed, a bond broken. Besides, fantasies work because we make them perfect. Reality can never live up to them. So be wary of taking him up on his offer. It does not necessarily reflect a guilty conscience. If you really suspect him of cheating, you may have trust problems unrelated to this common fantasy.

The great thing about a secure marriage is that it’s a safe place where fantasies can be explored with impunity. The more convincing you are the better. So tease him when you two are out. Or when he comes home tell him about the guy who mowed the lawn, how he was all sweaty, and shirtless and thirsty so he came in for a drink of water and there you were trying on your new rubber miniskirt ...

Sex ed?
Question:  I am an 18-year-old man who is seriously considering losing my virginity to a significantly older woman whom I do not know that well. She has expressed an interest in this, and has offered to teach me about sex personally. We both agree that this would help me to make better choices in college. A long-term relationship would not be feasible for either of us, although we are both single. I trust her, I know she doesn't have any STDs, and feel safer losing my virginity to her than to someone my age. I am not concerned that she is trying to take advantage of me. But I worry that this would be unethical because I don't know her very well. Do you think it would be appropriate to have a sexual relationship purely for educational purposes?

Answer: Look kid, you wouldn’t be the first teenage male to use “education” as an excuse to bonk an older, willing woman. If you are over 18 and both of you really want to use each other this way, go ahead, but don’t say it’s educational. One experience with an older woman will teach you nothing about real sex in a real relationship.

And remember two things. First, you have no way of knowing if she has an STD. So condoms, condoms, condoms. Two, sex is like a powerful drug and if you’ve never taken it, you have no idea how you’ll feel afterwards. Don’t be surprised if you wind up with a serious crush on your hands (yours or hers), a habit of seeking more “education” or a strange empty feeling afterward.

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Prostate pleasures
Q:  My wife says she's heard from a girlfriend of hers about something called prostate massage. What is the best way to do that and is it OK? Very interested!

A: So that’s what women talk about over lunch! Interesting. Encouraging, too, because there is a lot of pleasure to be gained from a finger up your butt. Who knew?

Well, actually, gay men knew. Straight men, on the other hand, regard sticking things in their rear ends as a step on the slippery slide toward homosexuality. At least in public. In private, heterosexual men have been sticking things up there forever.

"Prostate stimulation" (as opposed to "prostate massage," which is really a medical term referring to a maneuver a doctor can do to treat prostatitis), is really a form of anal sex. And according to Eli Coleman, director of the program on human sexuality at the University of Minnesota, somewhere between 10 percent and 25 percent of heterosexual couples engage in it.

Beverly Whipple, professor emeritus at Rutgers University and a famed sexologist and author, says the best technique is to slide a finger (or two) into the anus, which is loaded with pleasure-giving nerve endings, and then find the prostate, located about two inches up, just behind and below the bottom of the penis shaft. (The woman’s palm would be just about cradling his testicles.) Then she should stimulate it with "a come here motion," Whipple says. "Palm up, fingers going back and forth, like you’re telling somebody to come here." Which, of course, is the goal. 

This is going to take some experimentation, and, if the thought of fingers in your rear is a turn off, you can try to stimulate it through the perineum, the little space of skin between the anus and the scrotum.

Toys can work, too, like butt plugs, those little cone-shaped items with flared ends you see in naughty bookstores, or even an oddly shaped dildo like those designed to hit a woman’s G-spot. In fact, Whipple calls the prostate the "male G-spot."

But use common sense. Be clean back there. You may like the looks of her long fingernails, but they don’t belong in your rectum. If it hurts, don't do it. Communicate with your lover like an air traffic controller talking down a pilot -- "little slower ... little to the left ... little softer." And since there’s a stew of bacteria fermenting in there, don’t be sticking those fingers anywhere else until they’ve had a thorough cleansing.

Once you get the hang of it though, some men find it’s possible to orgasm this way. And if a woman stimulates your penis while she’s working your prostate, Whipple says, "you can have a blended orgasm" from both sources. Wheeee!

Brian Alexander is a California-based journalist who writes about sex, relationships and health. He is a contributing editor at Glamour and the author of "Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion" (Basic Books, 2003).

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