Her boyfriend wants her to dress sexier — to attract other dudes. What's up with that? Also, what could be causing painful cramps during orgasm? Sexploration answers your most intimate queries. Got a question? E-mail us. We'll post answers to select questions.
Q: My boyfriend and I live far apart but have been seeing each other for over three years. We plan to get married. In the past six months he has been telling me what he wants me to wear out in public. He wants me to wear short skirts, stockings, garter belt (which I do with him). Then he wants to hear about all the guys trying to hit on me or pick me up. The conversations are in so much detail that it is getting uncomfortable. He says it turns him on. I feel as if he wants me to meet someone else without saying it. I can't believe a man in love with me would want this. I'm confused and I'm hurt. I recently expressed that, then he called me back and said I need to please him. Help me understand.
A: Well, yes, we here at Sexploration can see how pimping out your girlfriend might send some confusing signals, but this particular game is pretty common.
I asked Petra Boynton, a British psychologist, sex researcher, and well-known “Agony Aunt” who has the added advantage of being a woman. She reported that her colleagues who provide therapy do see situations like yours, and, in fact, Sexploration receives questions like this regularly.
Your fiancé could be motivated by several things, Boynton said. “It could be a variation on the cuckold fantasy,” a common sexual turn-on in which men imagine the woman they love having sex with other men, she said. Having the fantasy doesn’t mean a man wants it to turn real (necessarily), just that he enjoys the thought of her being wild. Maybe your boyfriend doesn’t have the cuckold fantasy but likes the idea of you using your allure to tease and, living apart from you, likes to “feel” your sexual power in action through your vivid descriptions.
“Or,” Boynton suggested, the turn-on for him may be his ability to get you to follow his instructions. “It might be more of an issue of control.
"It’s a fantasy he likes, he’s pushing it and he’s not noticing if this is bothering her — or potentially putting her in risky situations. I don't think it's a case of him getting bored with her or the relationship.”
So, he may very well be madly in love with you. And he’s right: Both partners in a relationship should try to please each other. On the other hand, you have every right to object to particular ways of going about it. Even if you once enjoyed this game yourself, you are allowed to change your mind. Boynton suggests having a frank talk in which you explain why you no longer enjoy it, and why it makes you doubt his feelings. He may whine a little, but should ultimately respect your wishes. If he keeps insisting, or becomes coercive, say by threatening to withdraw his love, you might want to consider ending the relationship.
Q: When I orgasm, I get really bad cramping pains in my lower stomach area where I can't enjoy the orgasm so much because of the pain that I know will happen. What causes that?
Q: What would cause a woman to have cramps right before orgasm to the point that she tries to avoid orgasm? What can we do to correct this so she can enjoy sex more? The cramps happen about 80 percent of the time.
A: Ouch. Having “cramps” when you have sex really makes you reconsider the whole pain/reward equation. Doctors often call this “deep dyspareunia” which means, basically, “it hurts somewhere inside.” If that sounds vague, it’s because such pain could have many causes.
According to Dr. Irwin Goldstein, founder of San Diego Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital, and co-editor of a textbook called “Female Sexual Pain Disorders,” “the most common causes of pain in the vagina are pudendal nerve entrapment or pudendal neuropathy — which could be from bicycle riding or accidents — and endometriosis involving the fallopian tubes or pelvic sidewall.”
There are other possible causes, too, but the takeaway lesson is that sex is not supposed to hurt. “It is imperative,” Goldstein said, “that a woman with distress from sexual pain undergo vulvoscopic examination to precisely localize the source of the pain. It is not uncommon for a woman to have several causes of sexual pain.” The good news is that once you know the cause, most pain can be treated.
Q: I’ve noticed over the last couple years that every time the moon is approaching full, or is a full moon, my sex drive is beyond what it usually is. I masturbate more frequently during the full moon cycle than in the new moon cycle. Are there other people who have this “affliction”?
A: Sheer lunacy! Lots of myth-making ties moon phase to everything from sex to accidents, but when researchers have studied the idea, they’ve had paltry results. Admissions to emergency rooms don’t really spike and sex drive doesn’t change unless you are a fish in which case it helps to see who you’re mating with. But people often think libido does change, which, of course, can make libido change. So what the heck; if you feel the tug of the moon … well, finish that sentence on your own.