What do you do when your lover isn't a team player? Can body piercing boost pleasure? Does sexual activity slow down after a walk down the aisle? Sexploration answers your queries.
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Q: In prior relationships, my boyfriend was used to getting all the attention sexually. He is not much into giving back. He seems stuck on this ritual of fellatio for him and then intercourse — no kissing, touching or intimacy. I told him he was being selfish and that I wanted foreplay. Now he is trying different positions, but the sex is still the same. Should I be worried or keep trying in the same manner? Outside of sex he is a loving and affectionate partner.
A: Perhaps all women should get together and make a pact of some sort on training men so the next woman down the line gets a better product. No. Wait. Bad idea.
He is “loving and affectionate” and willing to at least try to respond to your needs, even if he is still missing the mark. So you are half-way there.
Every expert Sexploration has interviewed in recent memory has said the same thing: Being open to suggestion is key. So now you just have to tell him exactly what you want. Draw a diagram if you must.
If you need more help, there are, by my unscientific count, a gajillion self-help books and a few DVD courses to help illustrate. When you see or read something you’d like say, “Here. This. Do this.”
If he responds, reward him with a doggie treat or a sardine, pet his head and say, “Good boy!”
If he refuses to work with you, you'll have a choice to make, but if you value the rest of the relationship, a brief stint in counseling might reform him.
Q: My girlfriend takes a long time to climax. The first may take 45 minutes — and she wants more after that. Is there anything I can do to speed it up? Sometimes I do not want to have sex with her because I don’t want to stay awake for another hour and a half.
A: Have you ever heard of foreplay? It’s a little like fishing. You throw out some bait, get her interested, tease her until she is ready to pounce, and then, when she bites the hook, you reel her in during a short, thrashing struggle until she lays in your boat a'quivering.
If she still demands more climaxes, just tell her you’re temporarily out of bait. Every outing doesn’t have to be epic.
Q: Is it true that getting a vaginal piercing causes multiple orgasms?
A: Vaginal piercing? Yikes! I think you mean labia or something, right?
Actually, there is evidence that piercing the hood of the clitoris can enhance sexual desire but not by producing multiple orgasms. Vaughn S. Millner, a professor of behavioral studies at the University of South Alabama, studied women with such piercings and he tells us that “women in the study with clitoral piercings reported increased frequency of sexual desire as well as an increased level of sexual desire. These women also reported an increase in sexual arousal.”
The women in Millner’s study all had vertical clitoral piercings (up and down, as opposed to side to side), because that’s what professional piercers told him women found most exciting. Millner speculates that piercing the hood works to lift the hood and expose the clitoris and to create sensation between the clitoris and the piercing. The clitoris will get more sensation — watch the tight jeans — though I bet it’d be tough to concentrate at work.
But the benefits are limited. Women with the piercings did not report any greater or lesser sexual satisfaction or orgasm frequency. There was no difference in pain or lubrication either.
Millner also says not all woman are physically suited for the procedure and that piercing the clitoral hood carries the same risks as other piercings, including allergic reactions, infections and hepatitis. “In addition," he says, "streptococcal toxic shock syndrome is associated with piercing mucosal surfaces.” Ewwww.
Q: My boyfriend and I have been going out for six months, and we have sex every day, sometimes more than once. We already live together, and we are both very happy together (obviously). Will the sex diminish if we get married?
A: You haven’t asked any married people, have you?
Whether married or not, if you keep living together, sex frequency will diminish as sure as the Swiss make cheese, the pope is Catholic, the Earth revolves around the sun, and people write into sex columns asking questions to which they already know the answers in hopes somebody will tell them we all get to stay 22 and love will always feel like it did.
On the other hand, many married people — comfortable in a long-term committed relationship — report that sex, while not as frequent, is more satisfying.
Brian Alexander is a California-based writer who covers sex, relationships and health. Alexander, also a Glamour contributing editor, recently traveled around the country to find out how Americans get sexual satisfaction for the MSNBC.com special report "America Unzipped" and for an upcoming book for Harmony, an imprint of Crown Publishing.
Sexploration appears every other Thursday.