Do you have any questions about sex that you’re too embarrassed to ask? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll reply here.
What is squirting?
Q Do you have any information about squirting?
A It's known as female ejaculation, usually from stimulation of the G-spot. Take a look at our article on female ejaculation for details of what it is, the theory that all women possibly produce this fluid without realising it, and how to ejaculate.
How can I get aroused when we're not having make-up sex?
Q My boyfriend and I have been living together for 2 years. We are always fighting and having heated arguments. The make-up sex is great because I get quite turned on. But on the odd occasion when he wants sex from out of the blue, I find it so difficult to become aroused by his touch. The more he tries, the drier I become.
What should I do?
A It sounds like you need to find out what triggers your arousal, and to deliberately use these triggers to get yourself in the mood and ready for sex. You could also learn to initiate sex instead of waiting for him to do so, which means that you can choose moments when you feel like having sex.
With regard to feeling dry when he’s attempting to turn you on, we suggest you try a good quality water-based lubricant, which should help tremendously. Many couples use them and it doesn’t mean that you’re not turned on by him if you use one. We have a good selection that you can browse through to find one that is suitable for you. The warming lubes are particularly good as they are arousing as well, as is the Go Girl Gel Spray. You might also wish to try Interforce SF300, our new potency tablets for women to enhance sexual vitality.
He battles to keep an erection and I end up disappointed. Help!
Q My boyfriend says that he is very sexually active. We do not see each other all the time and most of the time he boasts about using the hand method, so he sorts himself out. When I do see him, he is exhausted from gymming so hard that he battles to stay erect, which is really destroying the mood and I don’t get pleasure out of this at all. We really like being with each other and I look forward to our sexual encounters, but I end up getting very disappointed. Help!
We have written an article on the topic of erectile dysfunction, which you can read here. We also offer a Viagra-like herbal tablet called OTO Chao Jimengnan (no prescription needed), which you might find helpful.
He only lasts a few minutes - what can I do?
Q I have a question regarding my boyfriend. On the first round, on entering my vagina, its not even two minutes and then he comes. He says it's because he's over excited, but it makes me feel like I have not been satisfied.Then as we progress to another round thereafter, he seems to take longer each time but still not long enough for me to reach an orgasm. He laughs about the matter but I'm frustrated.
I told him that I am willing to try anything to prolong his ejaculation, and he is willing to try as well. Besides foreplay, what else is there?
Q I am 38 yrs old and my boyfriend is 48. Whenever we are intimate he ejaculates within 2 to 3 minutes. This is becoming very frustrating. He had a heart attack three years ago and he is on medication. He also smokes a lot and doesn’t even try to do some exercise. Whenever I try to talk to him about the situation he says he is trying to quit and that he’ll start walking but he never does.
I am mad at him every time he ejaculates early and I don’t want to be intimate anymore as I’m never satisfied. This has been going on for about six months now.
A Premature ejaculation is a common issue for guys and there is plenty you can do about it - take a look at our article on premature ejaculation for some tips and advice. The other obvious solution is to ask him to pleasure you with oral and manual sex first before penetrative sex, so that you orgasm before he orgasms. Also consider using a vibrator during penetrative sex as they tend to bring women to a climax quickly, which means that his couple of minutes might be long enough - and you may well orgasm simultaneously. Especially if you have already had one or two orgasms.
Why won't he go all the way with me?
Q This guy that I am terribly in love with seems to have an issue with intimacy. We start, and kiss, and he does everything except for the actual intercourse part. He just stops, like something is in the way. I've recently heard that he is using steroids as he is a body-builder… and this is obviously the problem that is making him so shy. What can I do about this? Coz I can't really get all worked up and hot for him and he slams on the brakes completely. I don’t completely understand all the side effects steroids have on a man. Please give me some advice!
A We can’t advise you on all the side effects of steroids but we can advise you to start communicating with your partner. We suggest that you don’t make any assumptions about why he puts the brakes on as it's very difficult to guess at the reason. Rather ask him, but make sure you do this in a gentle and tactful manner. There may be a reason that takes you completely by surprise.
How can I learn to orgasm?
Q I believe that I can't have an orgasm. I cannot bring myself to one - I seem to be getting close and then...nothing. Is there anything I can do?
A Probably the best way to learn how to have an orgasm is via masturbation – you can read our article on this for advice on how to go about it. Also take a look at our articles on Female orgasm, the G-spot and the clitoris. If you are still battling, we suggest that you try a powerful little vibrator like the RO-80mm vibe, which should help you orgasm quite quickly when held against the clitoris.
Has my new Pill destroyed my libido?
Q My hubby and I are very sexually active and we have great fun. Recently I haven’t been feeling a full orgasmic explosion. I understand that I won’t feel this all the time...but now I never feel it. My libido is now pretty low. I have just changed my birth control pill and I am not sure if this has had an affect. I feel that maybe I need to do some Kegel exercises. What else can I do to improve my muscle tone and strength?
A The Pill often lowers women’s libido and it sounds like the one you have changed to has had this effect on you. Go back to your doctor or gynae and tell her/him of the effect on your libido, and ask if you can try another contraceptive. It’s often a case of trying different products until you find one that suits you.
Doing regular Kegel exercises throughout our lifetime is recommended to keep the vaginal muscles toned and strong, in the same way that physical exercise keeps our bodies toned and strong. It will also heighten your orgasms. The duotone balls that we sell are excellent and are highly recommended. They are also great for preparing women for lovemaking as they are very stimulating.
If you want to keep your pelvic muscles toned and fit, you need to use them frequently, which means regular sex. Now that’s one piece of advice you’re probably happy to hear!
How do I rekindle the flame after his affair?
Q My husband had an affair with a work colleague. It has since ended. We have decided to stay together and work it out. We are both 53. But I am afraid that although he still loves me he has fallen out of love with me. Our sex life has come to an absolute halt. How do I rekindle this? He shirks away from absolutely anything romantic. All the old suggestions (lingerie, intimate dinners) do not work. I miss the intimacy. Any ideas worth trying? Maybe the end of the road for us?
A We strongly recommend that you seek a professional counsellor for guidance on the issues you are facing. It would be ideal to go for couple counselling but if your husband declines to do so, we would suggest you still get counselling for yourself to help you find some answers so that you can move forward in your life.
If he loves you and you love him, which is what it sounds like, you have a good basis for staying together and working on your relationship. If you need help with finding a professional counsellor in your area, please see our page Where to get help.
We also suggest that a good sex book may help you inject some fun and adventure back into your sex life, which might be what both of you need. Take a look at the ones we offer, which are mostly written by women for women and are very helpful and often humorous.
You deserve to enjoy a lifetime of intimacy and great sex with your partner and we believe there are always solutions to the challenges we face in life.
How can I get my self horny and reach an orgasm?
Q What can I do for me to be sexually horny? My husband complains that I take time before I am ready. Another thing is that I fake orgasms. How do I reach an orgasm?
A Most women take longer to be ready for penetrative sex than men do. That’s just normal, and there’s nothing wrong with you. It sounds like your husband has a lot to learn about women’s sexuality. We have written some helpful articles about how women have orgasms, how your husband can give you orgasms via oral sex, and how you can learn to bring yourself to orgasm by masturbating and then show your husband what works for you.
What many couples do is concentrate on bringing the woman to orgasm first and then focusing on the man’s orgasm. This is because most women orgasm from direct clitoral stimulation via oral or manual (fingers/toys) stimulation, and penetrative intercourse doesn’t provide enough of this – but it gives a man exactly the right kind of stimulation for him to orgasm, usually quite quickly. And once he’s orgasmed, his body is depleted of glycogen so his energy levels drop, which means he’s more likely to sleep and less likely to attend to your needs to bring you to orgasm.
If you want to enjoy an orgasm while you are having penetrative sex with your husband, try holding a powerful little vibrator like the RO-80mm vibe against your clitoris at the same time. It’s small enough not to get in his way, and you might find this produces a powerful orgasm for you more or less at the same time that he’s climaxing.
When it comes to communicating your sexual needs with your husband, see our article on how to ask for the sex you want. There’s absolutely no need to fake orgasm – the real deal is much better! We wish you all the best in exploring and finding what takes you to the height of sexual pleasure.
My wife feels a burning sensation after sex
Q I used erection enhancing tablets more than twice and after that my wife developed some serious reddish sores inside her vagina and around her clitoris. After I ejaculated, she felt like her vagina was burning and she rushed to the bathroom to wash herself.
I am very worried that every time we are about to have sex, she feels scared and it breaks my mood. She does not know that I used the tablets. We both have health problems from the nameless sickness. Please let me know what could be the cause? I sometimes feel like not having sex with her anymore.
A If you suspect your wife may have developed sores in reaction to the erection enhancing tablets, stop taking them immediately. Everybody reacts differently to medication, including herbal substances, and it is not always possible to predict the side effects. We know it may be difficult for you but we suggest that you discuss it with her as she may be wondering what’s going on. You owe it to your partner to be open and honest about sexual matters and to tell her about any treatments you have been trying. This information could help put her mind at rest and may well strengthen your relationship. It’s not always easy to be open and truthful, especially regarding a delicate matter like erection problems, but she will at least then be able to understand the course of action you have chosen and how and why it is affecting her. She is likely to respect you more for trusting her and being honest with her.
We advise you both to seek advice from a medical professional, either your doctor or someone at a health care clinic. Your wife (and possibly yourself) may need diagnosis and treatment for the sores as they may indicate an underlying infection. If you are having erection problems, you may be able to find another solution that works better for both of you, and your doctor can help you with this. See our article on erection problems for more help.
He wants me to swallow but I hate the taste
Q My husband and I enjoy a very active sex life and constantly indulge
in great oral sex. We have on many occasions discussed the 'spit or
swallow' issue and I have expressed my discomfort about doing it,
basically because of the taste. My husband really wants me to do
this, but I cannot stomach the taste of it. We watch porn together
to give me an idea of what he would like, but when it comes down to it,
I freeze. Is there anything he can do to change the taste of his semen? I would really like to do this for him and because I'm having difficulty with it, it's causing tension between us.
A This is such a personal issue and there really is no right or wrong answer, just what works for you as a couple.
When it comes to the taste of semen, and also a woman’s intimate flavour, fruit and a vegetarian diet generally improve the taste. Avoid spicy foods, tobacco, alcohol, coffee and red meat, which negatively affect your taste.
Lots of women prefer not to swallow the semen.
Many guys take it as a compliment if you do, but others don't feel it's really necessary. If you want to try it, you could block your nose like you did as a kid taking medicine and just knock it back. You could keep some delicious champagne, chocolate or sweets handy to pop in your mouth immediately afterwards, as a ‘reward’ for your good behaviour.
Another trick is to use a flavoured lubricant like Wet Kiwi Strawberry Lube for oral sex, which disguises the taste and is the reason that people use it. Or you could pop a small mint or something strong and pleasant tasting in your mouth while giving him oral in preparation for the taste – but try not to choke on it when you swallow his semen!
If you do swallow now and then, kudos to you – but it doesn’t mean that you have to then do this every time, of course. And if you absolutely can’t stomach it, is it really such a big issue if you don’t? Consider that most of the women you’re watching in the porn movies probably aren’t actually swallowing but faking it, anyway.
You could also ask your husband to put himself in your shoes: if you wanted him to do you a sexual favour that didn't grab him, would you insist that he did it? Sex should be fun and mutually enjoyable – and it sounds like the two of you already have a great sex life.
If you simply can’t bring yourself to swallow, ask him to respect your feelings and not allow this one little issue to cause unnecessary tension in your relationship. There are a myriad other fun things you can do to give each other pleasure: swallowing is not the be all and end all of great oral sex. Find a new technique that you'd like to spoil him with and suggest this instead. You might find he'll be glad you decided not to swallow after all.
Why do I itch and bleed from sex?
Q My boyfriend and I have been sexually active for 7 months. Every time after we make love it itches and I start bleeding. It is very difficult for me to orgasm. Could that maybe be the reason? And what could be causing the itchiness and bleeding?
A Itching and bleeding after sex isn’t normal and it’s difficult to say what could be causing this for you. Take a look at two items we’ve written – on painful sex and on allergies to sperm. These suggest possible causes and action you can take to see what helps.
We would also suggest that you see your GP or gynae – whoever you feel you can talk to openly about the problem. We would advise you to seek help and not to leave it, though, because there could be an underlying problem such as an infection that may be quick and easy to treat.
With regard to your difficulty orgasming, for ideas on how to learn to orgasm, take a look at our articles on oral sex, women’s orgasms, the G-spot and clitoris for ideas. We have some great books that are filled with interesting and helpful tips on how to orgasm, and also help with how to communicate with your partner in order to both find fulfilment in that department.
If you are too dry during sex, this could lead to tiny tears on the walls of your vagina and result in some bleeding. Lack of sufficient arousal, and hormonal complications, could cause this. It might help to try a lubricant such as Sylk (all natural), Jo H2O or Go Girl lubricant.
How do I know I've had an orgasm?
Q How do you know that you are having an orgasm? What does it feel like? How long does it last?
A We have written a number of articles about orgasms, what they feel like and how to have them. You can read about them here.
The muscle contractions in an orgasm are powerful and unmistakable, so if you’re not sure if you’ve had one it suggests you may not have yet. We’d suggest that you try self-exploration, which is a great way to work out how to bring yourself to orgasm with no pressure or time constraints. Take a look at the masturbation techniques we suggest.
On the subject of how your partner can help you to orgasm, see our article on oral sex for tips and techniques.
Exploring your orgasm potential is a wonderful, empowering pursuit. We also encourage you to invest in some good sex books, quality lubricants and a powerful clitoral vibrator (a popular one is the RO-80mm vibe) or dual vibe like the globally popular rabbit vibrator or new generation rabbit to help you in your research.
Is it normal to be wet before sex?
Q I'm married and I love making love to my husband. My question is, is it natural to get wet before you even have sex? I'm aroused even at the thought of him touching me or whilst he is in the process of it.
A Yes, it’s perfectly normal. When a woman is aroused her vagina produces lubrication and expands outwards and upwards in preparation for penetrative intercourse. The lubrication prevents friction ‘burn’ from his thrusting, which is what would happen if you produced no lubrication. Without lubrication, the inner walls of the vagina experience tiny tears from his thrusting, which makes a woman more vulnerable to infection.
As our hormones change with circumstances such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause and ageing, our natural lubrication levels fluctuate and we may need added lubrication to keep things smooth and slippery during these periods. Water-based lubricants are best as the vagina self cleans and these are easiest for the body to eradicate. Another wonderful product is a warming gel, which is very arousing for women especially as it produces a deliciously hot sensation where it touches, and it remains smooth and silky with use. The warming sensation is also felt by your partner so it's stimulating for both of you.
My wife doesn't want sex anymore...
Q Thank you for all this good information. I have been married for 20 years this year and my sex life is falling apart. For the past few years my wife has avoided any sexual contact. I will be lucky if it happens eight times a year but it's like, 'okay, get on top and do your thing,' and into the shower she goes. Foreplay is out of the question these days.
During our courting days its was everything from foreplay to oral and different positions. Sex was fantastic for both of us and it used to happen about eight to ten times a week. After marriage things started to change with how often we made love. From there on things just went dead. She used to have moments where making love used to last for a period of time, then there was no sex for a long time. In the past few years it has got even worse. Whenever I speak about our situation she gets upset. I asked if it was menopause, as she is 45 years old. I feel that these days we don’t make love - she just has sex to please me. I try my best using what I read but there is no response from her. I even went as far as asking her if there was someone else and whether she still enjoys making love. Well, there's no one else. She will not let me in the shower with her nor will she dress in front of me. And no, she has not put on weight - her body is the same as the first time I saw her.
Is it normal for women to change their attitude as time goes on in a marriage?
If I try to book for the two of us to go away, she just says no. Our kids are grown up and yes, we can go away for that special weekend. Please give me some advice to spice up this relationship.
A No, it isn’t the norm for people to lose interest in sex just because they’ve been married for years. This does often happen to couples but there are many avenues to sorting the problem out, like dealing with relationship issues if these are the cause, and becoming more adventurous in the bedroom if things have become monotonous.
We suggest that you consider seeing a professional counsellor to find out what the underlying issues are and to work on your relationship together as a couple. There are trained professionals who are best placed to assist with this. You may also want to consult a sex therapist to discuss specific sexual matters – to find one in your area, see our article Where to get help
He can't climax since heart surgery - how can I help?
Q: I am 43 and my boyfriend of 12 years is 57. He has had two heart attacks and is sometimes very sick due to the medication. He is also moody due to the fact that after he had two stents inserted and angioplasty he has not been able to climax. I feel so bad for him as his self esteem is affected. I also feel as though my muscles are not tight enough. Is it normal at that age to not climax? He says he is satisfied as long as I am but I don’t believe him. What can I do to please him?
A Your partner should talk about this matter to the medical practitioner who decides on his medication. Different medications have different side effects, and it may simply be a case of changing his medication to find one that doesn’t have this side effect. Many people are too embarrassed to discuss such an intimate matter with their doctors, which is unfortunate because sex is such a great pleasure in our lives and a problem such as this can often be sorted out quickly and easily with the aid of a doctor. They are used to handling this kind of medical issue – consider what gynaecologists have to deal with when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth! So you should encourage him to bite the bullet and approach his doctor.
If you are concerned about how toned your vaginal muscles are, it’s always a good idea – for men and women alike – to do Kegel exercises each day to maintain sexual fitness. This will improve the strength of your orgasms as well, so there are added benefits.
It’s the head of the penis that is the most sensitive and stimulation of this usually leads to orgasm. If he is currently unable to orgasm from penetrative intercourse, try different positions to find some that narrow your vaginal canal and offer greater friction, like keeping your legs together or crossing your ankles. Alternatively, try bringing him to climax with oral stimulation or using your hands. You may find that smooth, silky lubricants such as Manslide or Sylk help with this as they provide great lubrication without congealing (some lubes like KY Jelly congeal easily, which reduces friction and typically causes men to take longer to climax). You could also try a warming lubricant that has an arousing effect, such as Jo H2O, which helps with excitement levels.
We’d like to encourage you to explore the wealth of sex information available, be it books, instructional DVDs or sexual health web sites. The more information you are armed with, the more opportunities you have to resolve this. And you may even find that your sex life expands tenfold as you explore techniques together to find out what works for both of you. Your man is lucky to have such a caring partner in you – well done for taking the initiative to help him and improve your sex life.
How can my man stimulate my G-spot?
Q Can you please give me tips on how my boyfriend can find my G-spot with his fingers and his tongue? And how can I have an orgasm during intercourse?
A We have written a number of articles on the female orgasm and how to have one, and more specifically, on how to stimulate a woman’s clitoris and G-spot to orgasm. You’ll find loads of tips there for both of you.
There are many ways that you can have an orgasm through intercourse and it really depends on you – some women can orgasm just through fantasizing! It’s really a case of exploring and finding out what works for you. For instance, some women enjoy spending a lot of time on foreplay until they are very close to orgasm and then penetrative intercourse gets them to climax. For many, it is vital to keep stimulating the clitoris during penetrative intercourse – and the combination of the two results in a powerful orgasm. For others, stimulation of the G-spot either by his penis (certain positions enable angled, shallow penetration to stimulate the spot) or a vibrator worn during penetrative intercourse (the We-Vibe is award-winning as it vibrates against the clitoris and G-spot and can be worn while you make love - it is small enough to allow simultaneous penetration by the penis) does the trick.
How do I avoid ingrown hairs from a Brazillian wax?
Q Last year I had a hysterectomy and therefore had my first ‘Hollywood’. What an amazing feeling! I never went back to au naturel. However, I battle with ingrown hairs and I am starting to get small pimple-like lumps in that area, which is totally off-putting. My beauty therapist told me to gently brush the area (exfoliate) weekly, but that does not seem to help much. Can you give me some advice?
A An ingrown hair is when both ends of the hair follicle are trapped under the skin, where it continues to grow into a bump resembling a pimple and often becomes infected. This may happen when the hair breaks off instead of being removed completely. It is usually caused by shaving (especially pressing too tightly on the skin for a closer shave) or waxing.
What you can do: to prevent ingrown hairs, it is recommended that you gently exfoliate the pubic area before waxing, as well as regularly after waxing (wait 24-48 hours afterwards). Keep your skin moisturised and keep the pores clean to remove any bacteria (which can cause infection). Leaving a hot facecloth over the area may also help.
When waxing, rub in the direction of the hair growth when applying the cotton strip to the wax to avoid breaking any hairs. Hold the skin taut, then pull the cotton strip back – but not up or out – in one quick, smooth motion. Avoid a series of light tugs, which might leave broken hairs behind. Don’t wear tight clothing afterwards as your skin will be highly sensitive and any friction may damage the hair follicles.
If you get an ingrown hair, remove it with a sterilised pin or tweezers: puncture the skin and pull the hair out through the puncture hole. Then shave or pluck it. You could try an acne cream containing salicylic acid, a dermatological chemical that aids the removal of ingrown hair follicles by exfoliating and mosturising the skin. It cleans out the pores and helps prevent infection. Oatmeal-based powders are also good for soothing the skin after waxing.
Do ARVs lower libido?
Q I am on ARVs and ever since I started therapy I have experienced a low sex drive. I also do not experience orgasms during sex as before. Is it possible that the treatment is causing this? I am not depressed because I have accepted my HIV status and I function very well in all other spheres of my life except sexually. Even when I masturbate, it now takes me longer to come and sometimes I do not come at all. As a result, I dread having sex and this is affecting my partner because he is very sexual. I have discussed this with my doctor but he said it would pass; it is more than three years now and the situation is still the same.
A The shock of an HIV diagnosis would negatively affect most people’s libido, but it sounds like you have adjusted well. The range of HIV medication you are taking may well lower your sex drive. Many people on ARVs have also reported that this has led to a change in their sexual feelings. However, there is apparently no clear evidence it is caused by the medication.
In general, medication can have negative side affects on all three stages of sexual performance – sexual desire (libido), arousal (lubrication and vaginal swelling in women, erections in men) and orgasm.
Your doctor should do a thorough assessment that includes discussing any history of sexual problems and conducting a careful physical examination (especially of the vascular system as sexual dysfunction can be caused by poor blood flow to the genitals). Together, you need to pinpoint exactly in which stages you are not functioning properly, then review all your medications and their potential to affect sexual functioning. If any medication may be contributing, ask your doctor to substitute it for another. You also need to have both your ‘total’ and ‘free’ testosterone levels tested and if low, you may want to try a testosterone patch.
There are steps you can take right now to improve your body’s sexual functioning: stop smoking, cut back on alcohol, cut out coffee, eat a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, eat high fibre foods (vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts and seeds) and get cardiovascular exercise (aerobic and weight training at least 3 times a week). This will improve blood flow to the genitals.
Finally, the brain is our biggest sex organ, so you might also want to consider psychotherapy for psychological support.
Healing marriage after a separation
Q I need advice on how to keep my husband happy. We separated for a few months after we had our first child and things have not been the same. I want this marriage to work with all heart.
A It sounds like what you need is relationship counselling. We suggest you contact a professional organisation such as Famsa or The Family Life Centre for counselling as a couple. Both of them have branches in Johannesburg. If your husband won't go with you, it would still be worth your while to seek counselling for yourself.
Is it safe to meet this stranger for no-strings sex?
Q I have a high sex drive and have been on my own since my divorce some years ago. I need to feel a man’s hands on my body but don’t want a relationship. I have been chatting to a guy via internet dating and am so sexually turned on by him. He also wants no strings. I need advice on the best way to ensure my safety. I agreed to meet him but I will arrange the location. I have a friend that will know exactly where I am and will be checking in with me. Condoms are agreed on. Any other tips to ensure my safety? I really want to do this but don’t want to end up in a body bag.
A Our advice is simple – don’t do it. It’s just not worth the risk. Rapists and serial killers are often charming or unassuming ‘nice guys’. The rule when meeting your date for the first time is to meet in a public place and don’t end up anywhere alone with him. Your safety is worth investing the time and effort in getting to know him first, before you both agree to a no-strings relationship. There are two other options if you are in a hurry – stick to someone you already know well or invest in a vibrator. Or both.
Am I a sex freak?!
Q I’ve met this amazing guy and I feel bad because I’m scared he might think I’m like a sex freak. I feel bad to ask this question but how do I approach this matter? I’ve just come out of a seven-year marriage and this guy turns my world upside down. The problem is, whenever I’m with him I constantly want to make love. I constantly want to touch him, feel him, and I’m scared that he’s not used to this, that this will eventually separate us.
A It sounds like you need to sit down with him and tell him what you feel, and ask him how he feels in response. If you think you might be risking your relationship by your feelings and behaviour in sex, then you’ve got nothing to lose by being open and honest with him. You could ask him to let you know what he wants and with this in mind, you can then adjust your behaviour accordingly. You’ve got the right to seek the kind of relationship that you want, so negotiate for what you want as well. Take a look at our article on how to communicate about sex – you might find this helpful.
Is bleeding during sex normal?
Q I have been sexually active for a few years now and have experienced a few times in the past few months a bloody discharge during and after intercourse. I find this usually during the ovulation phase. I have been on Triphasil since 2002 and I get a discharge when I’m on the white pills, which my doctor explained is when ovulation would have taken place if I wasn't on the Pill. I do not know if this is something I should worry about or not. It usually only lasts for a short while with no discomfort or pain, just a bit of humility as I feel shy when this happens. Should I consult a doctor about this? What causes this discharge?
A Any vaginal bleeding between your periods should be checked by a medical professional, even if it is only slight and you experience no other symptoms. Sometimes non-menstrual bleeding occurs shortly after a woman goes on the Pill, but this should settle in a short while.
There are a number of possible causes of the type of bleeding you’re experiencing, including an abnormality of the neck of the womb, erosion of the cervix, a cervical polyp, cervical cancer, inflammation of the lining of the womb or vagina, an infection in the womb lining or vagina, or pregnancy.
Your doctor is likely to do an internal examination plus a cervical smear, or take swabs to test for possible infections. The sooner you seek medical advice, the better.
Should I use his ex’s sex toy?
Q I’m 48 years old and in a relationship with someone I previously was with for three years. We were apart for 6 or 7 months. We both had sexual partners in between. He and his partner lived together for six months and enjoyed hard porn and used sex toys. This hurt me as he claimed before that he was convinced he should not have porn films in his home. Now he tells me that he hid them from me. I do not have any desire to watch porn movies and feel that they defile the human body – part of my values. Do I disregard this for his benefit?
I do not feel comfortable with using vibrators – and I know he has one which he used on his previous partner and now wants to use on me. I am worried about infections from unclean sex toys – how can one ensure that one is protected against infections?
I really do not know how to overcome this problem and it causes me to feel insecure. My genitalia are not perfect and although I read your article on this, it bothers me that I am being compared to others (I feel he must as he watches porn films and probably compares me to his ex-girlfriend). This is affecting me negatively and causes me great insecurity.
A If you’re not comfortable with porn and your partner is, you both need to discuss this matter openly and honestly to try to reach an amicable agreement, as you shouldn’t feel pressured into going against your values. You may need to seek the assistance of a professional counsellor to help.
Expecting you to use the same toy his former lover enjoyed is insensitive and unhygienic. There are some places you shouldn’t be expected to go and in our book, his ex’s toy is one. However, vibrators are wonderful for helping women reach orgasm and if you battle in this area, you may want to consider buying your own. To keep it hygienically clean, wash the toy before and after each use, then use an anti-bacterial spray and allow to air-dry before storing it carefully.
You should feel empowered in your relationship to negotiate sex and intimacy, and if you don’t, I strongly suggest you should seek professional counselling to help you through any insecurities you have or issues from your past. If you need help finding a counsellor, see Where to get help for more information.
Hoe om my man seksueel te bederf?
Q Ek en my man is 10 jaar getroud. Ek wil hom iets gee om die res van sy lewe aan terug te dink en dat hy net meer en meer wil hê. Ek sal daarvan hou as ons die hele nag kan seks hê. Ek sal ook nie omgee as ons ‘n honderd keer kan kom nie – hoe meer, hoe lekkerder. Is daar iets wat ek kan doen om dit vir hom lekkerder as lekker te maak?
A Congratulations on taking such a positive approach to your sex life and for wanting to spoil your husband of 10 years. There are loads of techniques and ideas you can try and we suggest that you invest in a good book, which you can pick up from any book store, such as Exclusive Books. We love the books by Tracey Cox as they are fun, informative and classy. Some examples are Sex Inspectors Masterclass and Superhotsex. Other fantastic books are Kama Sutra for Him and Her, Sex Play, The Ann Summers Wild Guide to Sex and Loving, and The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex. The great thing about these books is that you never stop learning new things to try, and they explain them in a straightforward, fun way that is also highly educational.
No doubt your husband will love your willingness to be adventurous!
Is my boyfriend lying about his HIV status?
Q I am not sure if my boyfriend is HIV positive. Two weeks ago I was going through his personal photos and passports and I came across a clinic card with his name and details about him. The card said “ARV meds and doctor visit” but nothing of the diagnosis was written in the card - whether he was suffering from an Aids-related disease or anything like that. It goes back to 2004. When I asked him about it he said it was the first time he read his card and that he is not HIV positive. He said he is diabetic, about which there was nothing on the card. I was so worried about it. Then today he said both of us must go for HIV testing. What must I believe?
A It’s difficult to say what his status is without seeing the documentary evidence, but you are right to be concerned. If you have had any kind of unprotected sex – oral, anal or vaginal – since your last HIV test, it is best to go for another test straight away. When it comes to sex, always use protective barriers to reduce your level of exposure to STDs, including HIV, as many people do not feel able to tell their partner they have or have had an STD. You need to put your safety first. However, condoms and dental dams cannot provide complete protection against STDs. The best protection is abstinence.
Can I contract HIV through oral sex?
Q If my partner is HIV positive, can I become infected through oral sex if I am HIV negative?
A You can become infected with HIV in oral sex as the virus is present in semen, blood and vaginal fluids. There are also trace amounts of HIV in sweat, tears, urine and saliva. Blood and menstrual blood contain far higher concentrations of the virus than vaginal fluids. While the mouth of a healthy person carries enzymes that destroy delicate viruses such as HIV, the virus could enter your bloodstream during oral sex with an HIV-positive person if you have any sores or tiny cuts in your mouth (including from brushing or flossing your teeth), which you may not be aware of. If he ejaculates in your mouth, this is a higher-risk activity for transmitting HIV to you.
What to use for protection
If your partner has any type of STD, use a barrier such as a condom, dental dam or cut open condom for safer - but not completely safe - sex. There are flavoured condoms on the market which make it more enjoyable for the person giving oral sex. You can add some lubrication to the side of the barrier in contact with his genitals, for added sensation for him. Some people find they are allergic to latex condoms, and if you are one of them there are alternatives on the market, such as polyurethane condoms (your pharmacist should be able to help you here).
What other STDs can be transmitted via oral sex?
You can also be infected with Hepatitis B and other STDs such as herpes through oral sex. Hepatitis B is a virus that is found in saliva, semen, vaginal secretions and blood. If you give oral sex when you have oral herpes (a cold sore), you can infect him with genital herpes, while genital herpes can be transmitted to your mouth. It’s also possible to become infected with herpes even when there are no outward symptoms, so if either of you carries this virus, use a barrier. During an outbreak of herpes, the sores can appear in places not covered by a condom, such as the base of the penis, so it’s best not to practice oral sex at such a time. Gonorrhoea and syphilis, which are bacterial infections that can be treated with antibiotics, can also be transmitted during oral sex. Avoid oral or genital sex until the infection is cleared.
My husband won't pleasure me sexually - what can I do?
Q I have a question about oral sex. I am a woman who is hot blooded. My man is very old fashioned and only believes in basic sex. His penis in my vagina...in out, in out – that is it. He does not like to touch me...not even my breasts. He refuses to use his fingers to massage/give pleasure to my vulva and clitoris...and he said he tried oral sex once before and did not like it.
I will lose interest in sex...and will go look for it elsewhere, even though my morals are intact. We are expecting at the moment and I dearly love him, but he does not want to spoil or please me in any way. Please help!
A So many women appear to be dissatisfied with their sex lives and in particular, with their lack of orgasms relative to their man’s. Research shows that a woman has one orgasm for every three orgasms her partner has – which is strange if you consider that women are able to have multiple orgasms and repeat orgasms in one session. It suggests that couples are focusing on his orgasm and not hers.
Many men don't understand that sexual intercourse alone usually isn’t sufficient for women’s satisfaction in sex. However, looking outside of your marriage for satisfaction would be a dishonest way to deal with your issue and could ultimately destroy your marriage. Instead, we would suggest an approach with four levels:
The first is to sit down with your husband to discuss your feelings and needs in sexual intimacy in a gentle, non-confrontational and constructive way. See our article on how to communicate positively about sex Ask for the sex you want, which will give you some tips, and there are probably a number of self-help books that you can use as well.
Secondly, it sounds like he may have some deep-rooted issues when it comes to intimacy and you may need the intervention of a professional, such as a sex therapist, who can help you both understand what lies beneath this and how to deal with it as a couple to the benefit of both.
Thirdly, perhaps you could explore ways to bring yourself to orgasm and sexual satisfaction with him, without putting the pressure on him to do it for you. For instance, you could teach yourself to masturbate to orgasm, and do this during foreplay with him (he should find it highly stimulating to watch you) or during intercourse. He could learn by watching you and possibly become confident enough later to take over, imitating what he’s seen you do. A lot of women stimulate their clitoris during intercourse or ask their partner to do both simultaneously, depending on the sex position.
An alternative that works well for most women is to invest in a straight vibrator which you can then pop onto your clitoris during intercourse (or a curved G-spot vibrator for afterwards). If it is small enough it shouldn’t interfere with his movements, but of course you can adjust your position to find one that accommodates both him and your vibrator.
There are other ways for you to heighten your arousal to orgasm, and you can experiment to find what works for you. Women often enjoy reading erotica as part of foreplay, or indulging in fantasy (using your imagination or dressing up in fantasy costumes – naughty nurse, innocent schoolgirl, vamp, etc, and roleplaying). It can be fun and empowering to explore your sexuality.
The fourth avenue is solo play. Many people who are in a committed relationship and who enjoy a fulfilling sex life as a couple also enjoy solo time, stimulating themselves to orgasm.
Whatever methods you decide to use to stimulate yourself, you would need to introduce them in a way that is both sensitive and non-threatening for him, and once again this will require you to communicate openly with him. You may find that a therapist will also help you talk though it as a couple. To find one in your area, see Where to get help.