A: Many people have cleanliness concerns about "back there." You can bathe or shower together first. You can discuss this with her sometime out of bed so that she knows what you're doing, which is a good idea. Or you can initially go with her preference. Next time you plan a sexual encounter have lube and towels and wet wipes handy. After you have aroused her in your usual ways (and preferable after she's had an orgasm), lift her legs to your shoulders or turn her on her belly, lube yourself up and gently go for it. Be sure to stop at the first sign of resistance and urge her to take control by pushing against you at her level of comfort.
Q: I am a lesbian graduating college in two weeks and I'm planning a graduation party. Most of my guests will be gay men and women. I would like to invite really good friends of mine, a straight couple who are not aware of my sexual orientation. I would hate to lose their friendship or make them uncomfortable. How should I let them know?
A: "I would love to have you two come to my graduation party. Will it be any problem to you that most of the other guests will be gay?" On the rare chance that either of them asks why that is, a simple "Because I am" covers everything. I can't imagine your being such good friends if they don't know you're gay and you don't know if they are homophobic, but I guess this is the test.
Q: My uncle has rather fuzzy boundaries when it comes to talking with me about his sex life. I'm wondering if you could give me a suggestion for how to tell him this is inappropriate. Whatever I say, I don't want to wound his ego. He's divorced, and has had quite a few unhealthy relationships since then. He does have a good sense of humor, I'm hoping there's a way we can laugh about this and he'll just stop telling me about his sex life. He doesn't go into graphic detail, and I don't think he's sleazy, I just really don't want to hear about it.
A: Can't you just say that — sweetly, smiling, perhaps touching him at the same time? "I don't think I'm the best of confidants for this, Unc." You do risk hurting his feelings, no matter how tactful you are, but if you don't at least try to tell him you'd rather not hear, you risk hearing uncomfortable revelations for sure.
Q: I'm having a problem. It takes me a long time to have an orgasm with my girlfriend; sometimes I don’t have one at all. I was wondering what might be the cause of this. I know it isn't stress or lack of sleep and I'm only 25.
A: Some possible causes are that you're used to the stimulation of your own hand, you're worrying about unsexy things while you're having intercourse, you're girlfriend doesn't turn you on all that much, some medication you're on is affecting you, you need something you're not getting here, like maybe sexy talk or nipple stimulation. Are any of those possible? I happen to believe that knowing why is never as important as knowing what to do about it so that you get the results you want. Decide on some things you'd like to try next time — pulling out and finishing with your hand or a vibrator, a new position or activity or just quitting when you've had enough for a while and resuming later. See what works.
Q: I have noticed that over the years the crotch in my panties has been worn through. At first, I would accuse my boyfriend of cutting my panties to make them crotchless which he adamantly denied ... but found interesting. I am constantly having to buy new panties and can't seem to understand why this is happening. It happens to all my panties whether they are cotton or satin. Can you explain why and give any suggestions as to things that I can do about it?
A: Let's assume (since it's so site specific) that it isn't your laundry detergent, but probably your vaginal secretions. Why yours resembles battery acid rather than glue is beyond me. Maybe you could check with your gynecologist next time you're there. Meanwhile, wear panty liners. Isadora Alman is a licensed marriage counselor and a board-certified sexologist. You can reach her online at her Sexuality Forum (www.askisadora.com) or by writing to her care of this paper. Alas, she cannot answer questions