A: No hints, just ask him straight out, in the same way you need to ask him to show you exactly what he likes. After you practice for a while and he assures you that you've got it, then you can judge whether or not you enjoy it that way. If you don't actually hate it, be sure to include it in your kissing repertoire every so often so you can both get your preferred style of kisses some of the time.
Q: I have been in a relationship for seven years. The sex is nonexistent. I thought I had a more active sex drive than my boyfriend but I catch him masturbating to magazines and porno flicks all the time. Now I think he just doesn't want me. He says that he loves me, he tells me I'm pretty, even sexy sometimes. But he rarely initiates sex. We only do it about once a month and usually I have to start it. Is there anything I can do? I know something's wrong. I just don't know how to fix it. It is killing my self-esteem.
A: It is a great deal easier to fix a problem if you know what's causing it, and for that you will definitely need your guy's input. It's certainly possible that he won't know himself, but it's a good place to start. Turning almost exclusively to masturbation when a willing and desirable partner is at hand can have several roots. He could be angry with you and his turning to solo sex is a very specific "unfuck you." He may just not desire you and not know that this is often what happens when anger is not expressed; it stifles desire. He may feel too much performance pressure to get it up, keep it up and/or get it off with you that doing it himself is just easier. He may have a particular turn-on that he can't ask you for or can't get from you so that he resorts to fantasy. While it's certainly painful not to have your partner come to you for sexual pleasure, his masturbation probably has nothing to do with you as a woman, so shore up your self-esteem. Tell him you need to talk about your sex life and what you want from it. If he can't or won't provide it and won't join you in sex therapy or couples counseling, you may have to rethink the relationship you have and whether it's worth keeping.
Q: My wife of six months (who was my girlfriend for eight years) and I are very much in love. We look forward to starting a family and growing old together, but we have somewhat different opinions of what is appropriate bedroom behavior. We both enjoy sex very much, however my wife seems reluctant to venture outside of the status quo of intercourse and try new and different things. Let me make it clear that I am not interested in bringing in a third party or having sex in public or anything that may be considered perverted. I do, however. want her to do more to arouse me (such as do a strip-tease or wear sleazy outfits around the house). My wife doesn't seem very open to the idea and won't even let me perform oral sex on her. (She says she enjoys it but its not high on her list of sexual priories.) As much as I love my wife I have been having increased desires to hire a stripper or escort (who will provide discreet, no-strings-attached sex) to do what my wife won't. Am I venturing into dangerous territory and, if so, how can I tell my wife this without ruining the love we share.
A: How come this comes up now instead of six months ago? There is no way to get where you want to go without one of those discussions that will be painful to one or both. "Honey, there are things that I am not getting in our relationship that are so important to me that I have been thinking about going outside our marriage to satisfy those desires." Perhaps if she hears how serious are your needs, she may reconsider her position on things such as receiving oral sex. She may also have some needs of her own, and not necessarily sexual ones, that your frank talk gives her license to express. "Sweetie, when you get up from the table and automatically leave the clearing up to me as if it were my job, I feel less than inclined to indulge you in bed several hours later. I'm tired and I'm pissed off." There is also the possibility that since she has no wish to change things between you sexually and you do, she may accept your going outside for what you need. In that case, you won't have to sneak into the "dangerous territory" of cheating. Isadora Alman is a board-certified sexologist and a California-licensed marriage-and-family therapist. Contact her via this paper or [email protected] Her Sexuality Forum is at