Some women have fantasies of being forced into sex. At first glance, rape fantasies make no sense. Why fantasize about something that in real life would be traumatic, repugnant, and possibly life-threatening? But on closer examination, such fantasies are not unusual. Many men daydream about getting the girl by rescuing her from a dangerous situation—without the slightest wish to confront armed thugs, or be trapped in a fire on the 23rd floor.
Years ago, Barbara and Michael Jonas had a spat before he left on a business trip. Barbara wanted Michael’s homecoming to get beyond their tiff and celebrate all the love in their marriage. But how?
On index cards, she typed questions, and designed a rudimentary game board. The evening of Michael’s return, she tacked a note to their front door, prepared the living room, and held her breath.
Many women are happy to have lovers ejaculate in their mouths and swallow the semen. Others can’t stand the idea.
If a woman objects to semen in her mouth, the man should respect her wishes. No one should ever feel pressured or coerced in lovemaking. If she won’t accept semen in her mouth, the couple might try condom-covered fellatio. That way the man ejaculates inside her mouth, but not into it.
However, many women cite specific reasons why they disdain semen orally. Some fear injury from the force of ejaculation. Others dislike the taste. Some object to swallowing it. And some fear sexually transmitted infections.
Exercise is good for sex. Regular exercisers report fewer sex problems and more erotic enjoyment. But extended cycling–more than three hours a week on a standard bike seat–can cause erection impairment (and presumably loss of genital sensation in women). Fortunately, cyclists can still enjoy riding without sex problems–if they watch how they sit on their bikes.
In our culture, men are assumed to be obsessed with women’s breasts. Men’s obsession is reflected in the huge vocabulary men use when discussing them: tits, boobs, jugs, hooters, melons, globes, knobs, headlights, mammaries, ta-ta’s, chest toys, fun bags, the girls, etc. In addition, ask any waitress: A low-cut top with visible cleavage means better tips. Many women complain that in conversations with men, the guys look at their breasts, not at their faces. And then there’s the old joke about a group of women who apply for a job. Some are highly qualified, others, less so. Who gets hired? The one with the biggest breasts.
Marital infidelity is difficult to research because few people are willing to admit it. One noted survey made headlines finding that only a tiny percentage of spouses said they’d ever been unfaithful. But the researchers interviewed respondents with their spouses present. Duh!
Even without spouses present, results depend on how the question is asked. University of Colorado researchers surveyed 4,800 married women using both face-to-face interviews and an anonymous questionnaire. In the interviews, only 1 percent said they’d been unfaithful during the past year. But the anonymous questionnaire showed 6 percent.
J.M., of Seattle, has been a sex worker for 15 years. Now around 40, charming, articulate, and looking her age with graying hair she does not color, she sees 10 men a week and gives them what they pay for. Her clients like it—62 percent are repeaters.
But after seeing the 2004 movie, “Kinsey” about controversial sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, she decided to give them something else—a survey asking who they were and why they’d turned to her. She presented results based on 225 clients at a meeting of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists that I attended. There’s no shortage of surveys of sex workers and their patrons. But to my knowledge this is the first survey conducted by a sex worker herself—and it presents an intriguing spin.
Friends with benefits (FWB) describes couples who are more than friends but less than committed lovers. They’re friends who, now and then, also have sex. They’re not deeply involved and remain free to date others. But they value the friendship, and feel mutual affection, and sometimes make love.
I began hearing the term FWB about 10 years ago. Most FWB relationships involve young adults, but they can develop at any age. I imagine they’ve been around in some form forever. So the concept is not new. But the term is fairly recent.
Hard economic times produce stress, and stress contributes to sex and relationship problems. It also reduces the number of people who can afford professional sex therapy. The good news is that if you have sexual issues but feel financially pinched, there’s an excellent chance that self-help resources might resolve things.
The conventional wisdom is that desire precedes sexual arousal. This works for most men. Men (typically men under 50) are often coiled springs of desire and easily aroused. Men often describe their libido as a drive similar to hunger or thirst. Twentieth-century sexologists assumed that women’s libido was, if not identical, then similar–and that if women didn’t feel desire, something was wrong.