What are some ways to make lovemaking sessions last longer? Should people reveal their sexual pasts with a new partner? And what exactly qualifies as an erogenous zone? Sexploration answers your queries. Have an intimate question? To e-mail us, click here. We'll tackle select questions in future columns.
ENERGIZER BUNNY SEX
Q: My boyfriend and I were discussing how women can climax multiple times but for men, they usually only get the one "Big Bang." He said he has heard of some way for men to climax without actually ejaculating. They get all the feeling of the orgasm without the release, so they can maintain an erection for hours. Do you know how this is done? I would be pampered for a year if I could find this out for him!
A: Wow, aren’t you the awesome girlfriend! Here’s a thousand style points. But don’t count on that pampering just yet, because while the good news is that this is doable, the bad news is that the techniques require lots of training, even actual exercise. So slip into your sweatpants, put that whistle around your neck and get ready to play personal trainer.
One manual method was taught long ago by Masters and Johnson. Just before the man was about to ejaculate, they told women, place the tripod formed by your thumb, index and middle fingers around the tip of his penis, and squeeze. (You can also squeeze around the base of the penis.) When he orgasms, he will be unable to ejaculate. Keep squeezing until the rolling thunder passes and his body relaxes. Then slowly release the pressure. While he will lose some or most of his erection, he can recover it quickly and start again.
This is not a guarantee and it takes practice, but it can work.
While this is the simplest, it is not necessarily the most satisfying method. So here’s the more challenging regimen:
Men and women have a muscle called the pubococcygeus, or PC. It’s the one men (and women, too) can use to stop peeing when the police catch them using the alley after they’ve had too much beer. When a man has an erection, he can use the same muscle to make Mr. Willy bounce up and down like a puppet show. (A jaunty, high-pitched "Hello!" adds to the effect.) To become multiply orgasmic, this muscle has to be trained. Men can literally lift weights with it by giving themselves an erection and hanging a towel over the end and trying to lift the towel. If a towel is too heavy for the slacker boy, he can try a washcloth. Then he can try a wet washcloth and work his way up. He can also flex the PC muscle isometrically without an erection while he's just sitting around watching his fourth episode of CSI. He should do it at least 100 times a day.
Now for phase two.
Masturbation. A lot of it. But unlike those days when he was 13 and the goal was to finish as quickly as possible before his sister needed the bathroom, he should go slowly and try to reach a peak so he feels the beginnings of the trembles. Then he should stop immediately, think about the Jason Giambi steroid scandal, and clench his PC muscle as hard as he can. (This roughly duplicates the effect of the Masters and Johnson technique, only internally. By the way, a minority school of thought suggests that some men prefer to relax the PC muscle at his point.)
When the feeling has passed, he can resume masturbating and try it again. The goal is to distinguish between the orgasm phase and the ejaculation phase which, he may be surprised to learn, are two different things. Typically, ejaculation follows orgasm by a second or two, though in the heat of battle they seem one in the same. The goal is the orgasm, not the ejaculation, and by flexing that PC, men can fully separate them.
As time goes on, a man may be able to make love for hours without ejaculating by stopping the stimulation, contracting the PC, waiting for the orgasm to occur and then starting again, like a roller coaster going up and down without going over the falls. These orgasms are really mini-orgasms, by the way. But the dedicated sexual Vikings who manage to develop the skill report that when they finally do come, it can be explosive.
For more, try a book by Barbara Keesling with the awkward title of "How to Make Love All Night (And Drive Your Woman Wild): Male Multiple Orgasm and Other Secrets of Prolonged Love Making." Or you can check out a sex school like the ones I wrote about recently.
TOO MUCH INFORMATION
Q: I have started dating recently after 18 years of marriage, and there is one man in particular whom I care for. He wants me to be honest about my sexual history but when I tell him, he criticizes my morality. Should I omit the truth?
A: What a bozo! First he asks, then calls you immoral when you tell him. Let him know that your history is yours, not his, and that you own it. It has helped make you what you are today, which he obviously finds attractive. If he wants to know, he has to accept whatever you tell him. If he can’t, you may want to ask yourself if you wouldn’t be better off with a man who accepts your past but looks toward the future.
Q:I feel really stupid for admitting this, but my husband and I don't have any prior sexual reference beyond each other and we don't know anything other than what we've discovered on our own. But I do feel like something is missing. While watching an episode of "Friends" in which Monica talked about the zones of the female body, I felt as surprised as Chandler when she counted past three! What are all of the zones?
A: Well, first of all, don’t look to old episodes of "Friends" for sex info. Second, I assume the show was referring to erogenous zones, places that make you feel sexy, and with a little creativity, every part of your body can be an erogenous zone, especially your brain.
For example, have your husband slowly lick the back of your neck, just below your hair line. Concentrate of what he’s doing. Or the back of your knee. Tell him to swirl his tongue around your belly button. Massage your feet. Stroke your inner thigh slowly, tenderly. See?
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).