Finding fetish friends 

Q: As a longtime reader of your column I wonder about the path between fetishes and lasting intimacy. I am a man in my 40s with a ----- fetish. I would like to find a woman who shares this, but not to overshadow the other aspects that make a lifetime partnership work. I just recently placed an ad to satisfy my fetish but am looking for true love in the process. In a perfect world I could have it both ways. Can I in this world, Isadora? What say you?

A: This letter is made more interesting because I could not make out the handwriting where the fetish is named — so feel free to fill in the blank. No matter, except to those who share whatever it is, because the issue is not uncommon to anyone with a singular passion of any sort, not necessarily a sexual one. Let's say you're an avid egg candler and want to share your fancy with a mate. You can meet through egg-candling enthusiast circles and come together over your mutual passion. You can meet someone you want to mate with and teach her/him to appreciate your special interest. Lastly, you find love where you can and if your love can’t or won’t do your thing along with you, keep it as a separate activity of your own the way a pilot with a partner prone to air sickness might do with aerobatics. We all know which is preferable, but only your own life experience will let you know which is possible.

Q: I am a 31-year-old woman engaged to a wonderful man. I love him very much and especially love to have sex with him. I know that I please him and he pleases me too ... just not in the same way. He has awesome orgasms every time we make love. I do not. I never have. Not once, with him or anyone else. Several times I have come close, but only during oral sex. So following intercourse, after he leaves or I go home, I tend to masturbate, which seems to be the only way I can orgasm. Don't get me wrong. I love sex. With him it feels great and I enjoy it. We are getting married soon and I am not sure if I should tell him and risk our relationship or keep it the way it is and hope he doesn't find out when we live together. What do other women with this problem do?

A: I'm wondering how you propose to get yourself off after intercourse if no one goes home when it's over? Silently under the covers? Quickly in the bathroom? It seems that something is going to have to change for you to ever have any orgasms at all ... and it would be a shame not to. Try asking him whether he would enjoy seeing you masturbate. Many men find that extremely erotic. Not only will that bring your orgasms into the bed with your partner, it will demonstrate to him your preferred methods of getting you there. What other women do is fake it or confess, learn to come with a partner or bring the do-it-yourself method out in the open. Depending on how you assess your partner's feelings about all this, and your own, you'll choose one solution with which to begin. Oral sex is often how a woman's first experiences orgasm from a partner. Perhaps you can start here and relax and enjoy the next time he offers it. Don't worry about how long you're taking or whether he might be getting tired. Just focus on the good feelings and see what transpires. If nothing happens, you can resort to the tried and true of your own hand and see what occurs next time. You will undoubtedly eventually learn to relax enough to let go.

Q: I would like a woman's perspective on this question. Simply put, I find the glimpse of a woman's panties under her skirt extremely erotic and will certainly avail myself of any reasonably discreet opportunity for a peek. What is your sense of how many women who opt for wearing dresses actually enjoy the possibility of occasionally showing some lingerie?

A: My sense is that women who wear low-cut tops or leave a button undone don't usually mind a glimpse of lacy lingerie or a bosom flashing the eager onlooker, but that thinking of someone peering up her skirt will strike most (not all) as intrusive and creepy. Isadora Alman is a board-certified sexologist and a California-licensed marriage-and-family therapist. Contact her via this paper or Her Sexuality Forum is at

Speaking of Love & Sex, Ask Isadora

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