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Asking for it

Q: I am a 28-year-old male, married for three years. I am happy with our relationship but I am confused about our sex life. We have sex about once a week, sometimes more often but recently less so. My wife has been under a lot of stress lately with her job and I'm sure that has something to do with it. The other thing is that I always initiate sex and don't know why she doesn't. I also feel that I have a much stronger sex drive then she does. This means that I masturbate once or twice a week, and have always hidden this from her. The other day she saw me looking at some nude photos on the Internet and things didn't go well. She got very upset. She is very mad at me. She thinks that she is not sexually appealing to me and that I would prefer to look at photos rather than her. I've explained that I've been doing this for a while and that I do prefer her. She doesn't want anything to do with me now. I am confused. She is very confused. Do I have a problem? Is it normal for me to be doing this? How do I handle the situation?

A: I If you are confused, your wife is confused and mad at you and doesn't want anything to do with you, I'd say you have a problem, although it's not necessarily with masturbation. Here's a novel approach: How about an honest exchange of facts and feelings on sexual matters? Start with "Honey, I realize you have been under stress at work lately. Want a foot rub? Want me to fix dinner?" That's an excellent way to not only get her attention but to arouse some positive feelings toward you. In fact, this can be a pre-discussion warm-up with you simply doing what you can to alleviate some of her stress without discussion. When she is less stressed and less upset try something along the lines of "I need to tell you that I masturbate, always have, and probably always will. It is a normal part of many people's sexuality, male or female. It has nothing to do with my feelings for you. What is it about this that distresses you so?" When you get to the part about what each of you wants and needs to make sex better between you, tell her that you would like her to initiate sex and ask her what she would like you to do to improve things. Some people, some very, very rare people, do seem to fall into a natural groove of mutually satisfying sex. Most of us mortals have to discuss the subject, ask questions, exchange feelings and give that aspect of the relationship (as well as others) periodic tune-ups to keep everyone's engine purring.

Q: Are there any porno movies where the guy comes in the girl? It seems like it's easier to find a movie where an eight-months-pregnant woman has anal sex with a giraffe than to find a movie where the guy simply comes in the girl. I know the convention is for the guy to pull out and we all get to watch him squirt, but that bores me shitless and it's not what happens in real life. I know porn films are supposed to be fantasies, but pulling out before you come is more a fantasy for women than it is for me. How do I find what I'm looking for?

A: Oddly, it's men who seem to demand the money shot, not women. Check the reviews and ratings that many of the enlightened erotic film purveyors provide (www.goodvibes.com) or look for those made by and for women.

Q: My boyfriend cannot ejaculate in me during sex. I went on birth-control pills four months ago to see if that would help, but nothing happened. He can come if I give him a blow job. We went to a doctor and he said that ejaculation is a conditioned response and to keep doing what we are doing. There is nothing medically wrong with him. We have been having sex now for more than a year and he has never had an orgasm unless I have given him head. It's getting a little out of hand. What can we do?

A: You could simply accept it, have sex any way you like and when he wants to come finish him by mouth. If you really don't want to do that anymore, or not every single time, urge him to do it himself by hand. Try different positions that offer a different penis-vagina fit. Perhaps add lubrication to duplicate more closely the feel of your mouth. Problem-solve together. This is no different that the situation of many heterosexual couples where she can only climax via oral sex. Your choices are to try to change the circumstances or accept what is. Isadora Alman is a board-certified sexologist and a California-licensed marriage-and-family therapist. Contact her via this paper or askisadora@aol.com. Her Sexuality Forum is at

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