Why are people so obsessed with sex anyway? And can it improve acne? Sexploration answers your queries. Have an intimate question? To e-mail us, click here.
Q: Why are people so obsessed with sex? I'm a guy who thinks it is vastly overrated, messy and time-consuming. I find a hike more exhilarating. On those rare occasions when I masturbate, I am finished in two minutes. No fuss, no muss. I just think far too much time and energy are wasted on sex. Can I possibly be alone in this?
A: Judging from the poor guy's wife in the next question, I'd say you are not alone. But you are missing out (and so is she).
Why do you think we love Shakespeare, Fats Domino and the makers of the shelf bra? Because sex is a central part of human life. Biologically speaking, it is literally why we're here, to make more of ourselves. And nature provided us with lots of incentive to do that, what with all those good feelings sex delivers, not the least of which is the sense of bond that sex helps us achieve with another person.
Two quick, if tidy, minutes simply cannot replace sex.
I'm not saying you have to change. If you're happy with your status quo, fine. You should not feel pressured by our sexualized culture. People find satisfaction in any number of ways.
But I wonder if you are happy with the status quo — or else why write to Sexploration? It's possible you could have a medical condition called hyposexual desire disorder or some other physiological reason why you are uninterested in sex. Only a doctor can tell you for sure.
All we at Sexploration can say is that sex, if it's any good, is messy, unpredictable, powerful, heartbreaking and joyful, all at the same time.
It is one of life's grand adventures. Not everybody has to take the trip, but be sure you know why you're not.
Q: My wife is no longer interested in sex. For the past six years, we've had sex about once annually. I try to forget about it and fill my life with exercise and focus on the kids, but I feel so lonely that I'm getting depressed. What do you suggest?
A: You could introduce her to the guy above, but what you really need is professional help.
Seriously, buddy, you've had sex six times in six years? You must be in great shape and your kids the most well-adjusted in the neighborhood.
As has been pointed out in this column before, when two people share lives and sex, they can be thought of as one unit. Your wife may not think there's anything wrong, but you are half the unit and you're miserable. Your unit needs help. (Boy does it!)
Make your first call to a good couples counselor and insist your wife make a second call to her doctor for the same reasons I suggested to Mr. Two Minutes.
Q: Can swallowing semen help with acne?
A: No, and tell the boy who said so that this line is so old his grandpa probably used it.
Brian Alexander is a California-based writer who covers sex, relationships and health. He is a contributing editor at Glamour and the author of "Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion" (Basic Books).
Sexploration appears every other Thursday.