Playing by the rules 

Q: My roommate and I are in our 30s and (up until a few months ago) have been strictly platonic friends. One night, we were having some wine and she was in a very short nightshirt. Because I was in my sweatpants and nothing else, she noticed when I became aroused from the revealing way she was dressed. I thought she was joking when she asked if I wanted her to "take care of that problem," so I said that would be wonderful. To my surprise she took my hand, led me to the kitchen and told me to lie down on the floor. She rummaged in the cabinets, found some corn oil and told me to take off my sweats. When I was nude, she instructed me to lace my fingers behind my neck, cross my legs Indian-style, and lie still. For the next two hours she drove me nearly out of my mind by slowly stroking me but never letting me finish. At one point I reached out and caressed her bare thigh, but instantly she stopped touching me. After warning me to keep completely still, she resumed her stroking. Finally she let me have the most unbelievably mind-blowing orgasm of my life. Since then, every couple of weeks the same thing is repeated. When she's ready for the scene, she waves the bottle of oil and I follow her into the kitchen, strip and lie down for a couple of hours of almost unbearable teasing. Her rules haven't changed. I have to assume the same position and keep completely still. I know she means business because on one occasion when I was very close to orgasm I pumped my hips, trying to get from her hands the pressure I needed. That was a big mistake. Immediately she got up, washed her hands, and went to her room. Over a takeout Chinese dinner one evening I asked her why she limits our contact to what we do in the kitchen while we remain platonic roommates the rest of the time. She told me that if I didn't like it she would stop. I don't understand her at all. I want to hug her, kiss her, make love to her. We have a close friendship but she evidently doesn't want more. Can you offer any possible explanation for her unusual behavior. Is there anything I can do?

Q: Apparently not if you want the game to continue. It’s her game and her rules. This is a classic case of domination and submission. You either lie back and accept it as it is, or, by pushing for more, risk blowing the whole deal. It’s your choice.

Q: I am a shy female. A satisfying sex life does not seem possible to me. At 27 I have never had intercourse with a man and have — no surprise — been called frigid. I have always had a hot fantasy life with the unaware objects of my numerous crushes. The few times I have been physically close to a man, the excitement of my revved-up feelings from kissing, touching etc. has abruptly shut off just short of intercourse. I have been called attractive but at this point I can't see way any decent guy would want somebody as frigid as myself. Is there a way to shut off sexual desire through medication or some other action? Masturbation is not satisfying enough.

A: You have already found a way to shut off your sexual feelings, it's just not under your voluntary control. What you need to do is to allow them to build, to feel your desire when you are in an appropriate situation, to turn on rather than off. I strongly suggest working with a therapist toward that aim.

Q: I love to masturbate by rubbing my belly. After I do that, I feel guilty. Any advice?

A: When your acts and your feelings contradict each other you have only two choices — change your acts or change your feelings. If you don't want to stop rubbing your belly (and there's no reason you should), read up in any sexuality text that masturbation is considered a healthy practice for both men and women, single or coupled, and there is no reason to feel guilty about a healthy, normal activity.

Q: When I was very young I attempted self-fellatio. For some reason I have thought about this recently and have looked down upon myself, feeling great embarrassment for something that happened years ago. I have been feeling like it is not normal. Was this depraved? Have other guys tried this?

A: Not only have many other guys tried this, the lucky ones succeeded. Rather than putting yourself down for your accomplishment, why not congratulate yourself for your creativity, self reliance and (at the very least) your limberness. (Depravity, by the way, is in the eye of the beholder — just like beauty.) Isadora Alman is a licensed marriage counselor and a board-certified sexologist. You can reach her online at her Sexuality Forum ( or by writing to her care of this paper. Alas, she can not answer questions

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Speaking of Love & Sex, Ask Isadora

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