Q: How can I take charge in bed without bruising his ego and wrecking our sex life?
A: Make your comments about the present and not the past. You'll get a better response from "Let's start doing fresh new things, so we don't get stuck in a routine," than from "What you've been doing isn't working."
Realize sometimes saying something isn't enough. When it comes to men, you need to demonstrate. Could that mean pulling out a vibrator, grabbing his hand, and showing him just where to put it? Definitely.
Or, you can take the approach of one woman I know. She had a hard time telling her boyfriend that she wanted him to spend more time on oral sex and that she wanted him to be gentler about it. So she woke up one morning and told him, "I had a sexy dream about you." He was like, "You did?" and she said, "Yeah, but I'm a little shy about telling you." Of course, he was really interested, so she described a whole dream in which he was doing exactly what she wanted him to do. It got the message across.
—Ian Kerner, Ph.D.
Q: My guy and I spend lots of time away from each other. How can we keep things hot?
A: Internet sex can keep you primed for each other. It can be as simple as IM'ing and creating sexual fantasies together to masturbating together. Now there's even "tele-dildonics": You plug your sex toy into your computer, and your boyfriend can log on to the Internet and control it for you remotely (or you can control his).
To make Internet sex work, you have to find the mode of communication you're both comfortable with. If you're visual, that might be a Webcam; if you're not, try audio (Yahoo! IM has an audio and video component). If you prefer writing, think about whether you'd rather flirt back and forth, build fantasies with IMs, or trade stories via e-mail.
One of the reasons Internet sex is great is that most people take more risks online. Once you can talk about sex on the Internet, you become better at bringing things up offline. Say you send an IM saying, "I've always had this fantasy about balloons in the bedroom." Your man might be thrilled his girlfriend is kinky. So the next time you bring up your fantasy in person, instead of giving you a strange look, he'll simply ask, "What color?"
—Regina Lynn, sex columnist
Q: How do I make anal sex more comfortable?
A: Anal sex isn't pleasurable for everybody. Most women I hear from who want to make it more comfortable are having anal sex just to make their boyfriends happy. Are you kidding? If it hurts and it's awful, the answer should be, "Hey, dickhead, we're not doing this anymore." I'm telling you: Stop it, ladies!
If you have pain, your body is telling you something. There will be medical consequences. In the short term, there's the risk of tears, fissures, and fistulas. But I'm much more concerned about the long term. Go talk to a 75-year-old woman sometime who hasn't had anal sex, and you'll see that as you age, the rectal area has tons of problems associated with it anyway. You can get hemorrhoids and abscesses, and the rectum can prolapse into the vagina or out of the anus — and that's without ever having anal sex. Yet you're setting yourself up for these things with this behavior! If you don't have pain with anal sex, then your body may be tolerating it, although you still run the risk of problems. I shudder to think what's going to happen to young women later on when they continue to have painful anal sex.
—Drew Pinsky, M.D.
Q: My guy either can't get it up or orgasms too fast. How can I get some satisfaction?
A: You don't have to suffer just because your guy is having performance problems. As long as he's got fingers and a tongue, he can still make you happy. He should be using them anyway: 87 percent of women can reach orgasm by clitoral stimulation, while very few women are able to reach orgasm by traditional intercourse.
Never blame yourself for your partner's performance problems or think that you're not sexy enough. It's his problem, not yours. Let him deal with it, honey. You can absolutely talk about it, and very gently suggest that he go see a doctor and get it checked out. But you cannot be his sex therapist.
—Sue Johanson, R.N..
Q: If I go home with a guy from a bar or a club, especially if I go to his home, is the expectation that we'll have sex?
A: About 90 percent of the time he hopes so, yes. And his expectation doesn't change whether you go to his place or to yours. Does it mean that you have to have sex with him? Absolutely not. Once you have an inkling that the two of you are going to do something physical, decide how far you're willing to go and stick to it.
And try to go to your place. I think it's easier for a man to insist on going further sexually on his own turf. If things get weird, you can kick him out. If that doesn't work, you know exactly where the telephone or baseball bat can be found. But most of all, you'll feel more comfortable at home, and, as a result, more confident and sexy.
—Natalie Krinsky, sex columnist
1. Wondering how to get him to wear a condom
Tell him to put it on! Do you want to be in your gynecologist's office finding out you got some disease because you were too scared to ruin the moment?
2. Faking orgasm
You're denying yourself a chance to really feel one.
3. Worrying about him
You're having sex? He's happy. Think about your own pleasure.