Why do men want to shower right after sex? What can I do to turn my hubby on during a tough time for him? How do I tell my partner I haven’t had an orgasm in years? Sexploration answers your most intimate queries. Got a question? E-mail us.
Q: I’m wondering if I have an obsessive-compulsive husband. He feels he has to get up immediately after intercourse and wash himself. He’s never been one to stay in bed, snuggle or prepare for Round Two. I’m immaculate in my personal hygiene, but he makes me feel like I got him dirty. After 30 years of marriage and two children, he’s still the same. Any words of wisdom?
“If you loved me, you’d happily wallow in my passion goo!”
Just about every man who has had more than three lovers has interpreted a request to cuddle as something like this. The more astute among us take heed and from then on engage in the mandatory 10-minute post-sex cuddle period before smoothly segueing into “Jon Stewart ought to be good tonight; let’s check it out,” then hopping in the shower while you are distracted by Jon’s cuteness.
We men are not obsessive compulsive, nor are we so scarred by our Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Scientologist — or whatever — upbringing that we must scrub away the evidence of our shame. But some of us do feel the need to clean up after a round of mattress aerobics. Your guy sounds like one of them. Here are several educated guesses as to why he prefers a postcoital spritz:
First, men are 0-to-60 machines, baby, and we can stop on a dime. Two seconds before orgasm, we might savor the thought of belly flopping in a pool of love juices, but two seconds afterward, lust plummets and we just feel ... well, sticky. All some guys can think about is getting with a bar of Irish Spring and then sitting down to a hot bag of microwave popcorn. I'm not saying it’s right, just that it’s natural.
Second, if we’re dressing afterward, we’d like to save on the dry-cleaning bill.
Third, it may not be you. As you may have noticed after 30 years, semen can be like superglue. If we have any body hair at all … well, I don’t really want to have to paint a picture for you, but let’s just say a quick cleanup makes our lives a little simpler later.
By the way, as any man who has fallen asleep for the night right after sex can testify, the simple act of waking up groggy in the morning and standing over the toilet can become a friendly-fire emergency thanks to the obstructing leftover evidence of our love. You may not think pee can shoot at a 90-degree angle, but you’d be surprised.
And have you tried holding him after sex? Kissing him, talking to him about anything at all? Promising that later, in a little while, you will happily jump in the shower with him, but right now you want him there with you, stuck together like two happy postage stamps during a damp south Florida summer?
Q: My husband is going through a very tough emotional phase due to financial and family pressure with his mom and siblings. This has remarkably reduced his sexual energy. What can he do to improve it, and how can I help him?
We all go through such phases once in awhile, and as psychologist Alan Nagamoto, director of the UCLA stress clinic, told Sexploration a few months ago, sex can actually help relieve the stress of such times. Since your husband isn’t in the mood, how about a little seduction by you?
But don’t pressure him. If he resists, turn to nonsexual ways to help. As Nagamoto suggests, exercise works. If he enjoys a particular sport, encourage him to play. Socialize with friends he can talk to. Make sure he knows you are on his side during this tough period and buck him up if necessary. His needs come first during this tough phase. That’s what the whole “better or worse” thing is about.
Q: I have been married for six years and not once have I had an orgasm — he finishes too quickly. I haven’t said anything; I don’t want to start a fight. How can I broach the subject without hurting his feelings?
You haven’t said anything! In six years? Look, there is no way to broach this topic without hurting his feelings. But where did we get the idea that we can never hurt our lovers’ feelings? “Honey, I know you worked hard on dinner, but I really don’t like this edamame salad” may hurt feelings, but if you don’t say anything, you’re stuck with edamame salad.
We’re all big boys and girls, right? We should treat each other like adults by offering loving, constructive criticism when necessary, and accepting such criticism as a cue to improve.
You may wish to suggest oral sex and vibrators, and if his problem is truly premature ejaculation, there are therapies. Remember, though, it may not just be him. Many woman are non-orgasmic with intercourse and some are non-orgasmic, period. If a loving conversation and some experimentation doesn’t help, consider a professional.
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.