Sexual Etiquette

Contraception and STIs

Performance problems

Serious Sex-related issues


Sex myths

Gay and Lesbian sex

Everyday couples, exceptional sex

Dear Diary, I had great sex today


Appendix: A Sex Dictionary


Hot And Cold In Sex


Everyday Couples, Exceptional Sex

I'm sorry, did you say monogamy or monotony?

When I was twenty-one, I got engaged to my childhood sweetheart. "Do you know," he said, gazing soulfully into my eyes, "I'll be the last person you'll ever have sex with for the rest of your life." It felt as though someone had kicked me in the stomach. I felt life a rabbit caught in the headlights of an approaching car. Like the jailers had just turned the key on the lock to my prison cell. My vision of marriage transformed from trendy career couple swilling wine while having wild sex ob the back patio to polyester dresses, aprons, floury fingers, and twin single beds. The ring was off my finger within a week.
              It wasn't that I hadn't thought about the sex side or that I wanted to do the entire male Olympic swim team (thought I could think of worse ways to spend a week). It was the concept of one person being my first, my last, and one and only. I just couldn't do it. the word monogamy threw up frightening images of padded cells for years after that but somewhere along the line my attitude changed. I finally figured monogamy and monotony don't have to go together like peaches and cream. Here's how I look at it now.
              Picture your favorite restaurant. Now imagine dining there every single night for the rest of your life. After a month, that greasy takeout Chinese food is looking appealing! Sex myths with the same person can be like that. Why would you crave a hamburger when you could have filet mignon? Simple. You're sick of filet mignon.
              Okay. Now go back to the restaurant and imagine that each night you go there, something is different. One night, the music's soft and the lights are dimmed. The next, the stereo's blasting and they've cleared the tables to make a dance floor. One evening they server French food, the next Italian, the following Thai. There's enough variety to order a different dish every night. the decor changes constantly: dark, gothic, and moody one night, bright, light and stainless steel the next. In winter, there's fire, in summer the windows are flung open to catch the breeze and a view. Sometimes, you go alone and read a book. Other times, you and your lover solve the world's problems until the wee hours, or you're romantic and playful. The point is this: even if the place is the same, if you change the variables, it seems different. Ditto for monogamous sex.
              You can make love to the same person for the rest of your life in a million different ways, places, and situations. Naked, half-naked, or clothed; clothes ripped off or stripped off. Sex can be slow and sensual, raw and wicked, intense and erotic; a two-hour marathon or a two-minute quickie up against the fridge. Dinner outside, dinner in- with dessert eaten off each other's bodies. Does monogamy have to be boring? In a word: no. Why then, do most people complain it is?
              When pop gender-bender Boy George made headlines by admitting he'd prefer a cup of a tea to sex most nights, thousands of couples secretly agreed with him. when Dr. Patricia Love released a sex book called Hot Monogamy, hordes of desperate couples deviated from their sacred Saturday, Starbucks/ Ikea/ Target circuit to head for the local bookstore. Eavesdrop on any cappuccino fueled conversation between two females with kids and you'll hear, "Sex? God! I couldn't care less if I never did it again." Hell, neither would I if him on top, only on Sunday, and always in bed sex was all that was on offer. If that's monogamy, no wonder it's very, very dull (if it was ever exciting in the first place). If slipping between the sheet and into the same sex ritual every time sums up your love life, two points for even mustering up enough enthusiasm to open this book!
              But here are the words you've been waiting to hear: sex can get better as the years roll on. Not only that, it can improve RIGHT NOW. There's just one catch: you have to be prepared to put creativity and effort into your sex life to introduce the variety that's lacking. At first, if you're mind-numbingly bored by each other's bodies, this will be a real drag. One or two sessions later, it'll seem less like hard work. One month from that, you'll start grinning at each other whenever you think about last night. and two months from now? Your friends will be calling to say, "where were you two last night? You friends will be calling to say, "Where were you two last night? You never seem to go out much anymore."

What's great about Monogamy
              . You can still have sex on "fat days" - you know he finds all of you sexy.
              . You can relax a little- it doesn't matter if you don't get an erection, she knows it's a fluke.
              . You don't have to use condoms- you've both had AIDS tests and don't want to have sex with other people.
              . You can drop those inhibitions - you trust each other ad know you won't be branded "weird," "slutty," or "perverted" if you confide a fantasy .
              . You're pretty well guaranteed an sex orgasm - if you've taught each other well, you each know the right buttons to push.
              . You enjoy all different types of sex, not just the lusty sort. Sometimes it's romantic and lazy, and it's always loving and intimate.
              . You smile when you wake up together the morning after- rather than wonder how the hell you got there.

What Isn't
              There are two major complaints about monogamy: sex can become routine and boring (try everything in this chapter, then get back to me on that one!) and the "newness" has gone. That's the number one beef of even happy couples. "I love X, but you just can't re-create that fabulously erotic feeling you get when it's someone you've never done it with before." Hmmm. I could lie and give you false hope. I could say, "Don't be silly, of course it's possible." But I honestly don't believe it is.
              Playing games, acting out fantasies, introducing so much variety your head is spinning- all will help immeasurably. But it's still not the same as the very first time with someone new: that's the one downside of monogamy. But if it's the only bad thing, it's a small price to pay for all the pluses of being with someone you love. Cope with it by having sex with anyone you want in your imagination. Fantasize wildly that she's the girl in your office or he's your best friend's boyfriend, but DON'T TAKE IT THROUGH TO REALITY even if you can get away with it.

              . According to a leading U.S. infidelity expert, many men who love their partners and enjoy good sex at home still never turn down an opportunity for sex on the side., fifty-six percent of men who have affairs say their marriages are happy.

Every time you're tempted, work through this exercise. Imagine your partner's face if they found out (and it's amazing how most people do). Picture how hurt they would be. Remember that they, too, feel the odd urge to roam but don't, out of respect for you. Even if they never find out, you know you've betrayed them. You've broken that special bond and can never, ever look them in the eye honestly again. Then imagine your partner being so hurt and angry, they leave you. You've broken their heart, you've lost everything, you feel like a complete scumbag. Was that thrill, that one blissful moment of experiencing a new body, worth it? if you run all this through your mind and still consider it would be, get out of the relationship NOW. You don't just want sex on the side, you want to be single.
              Some sex therapists say it's normal for each of you to have the odd sexual encounter during your lives together. What you don't know can't hurt you, etc. I don't agree. I've seen pointless they'll-never-find-out encounters destroy more than one otherwise blissfully happy couple. In all cases, the person who strayed counts it as the No.1 Biggest Mistake of Their Life.

They're Hot, You're Not

The third most common couples sex complaint is mismatched libidos: your partner wants sex more or less than you do. to a point, it's something you both have to learn to accept. Having said that, there's a hell of a lot you can do to even the scales.
              Part of the turn-off of monogamous sex is that you've got sex on tap. It's always available. The single and sex-starved crave for someone to touch their genitals. Long-time lovers don't get a chance to build desire because it's always being satisfied. So, you start having sex when you don't really want to (because you feel you should), it becomes boring, and your brain starts to associate the two. Part of the solution is obviously variety, but you have to want to try the suggestions I've made- and if you don't feel like sex, why would you?

If your partner wants it more than you do
              It you want sex less often than your partner, here are some tips from the experts for getting the urge back.
              . Put pen to paper. Think back to the best sex you've had and work out what it was that made it so special. Who was your partner? Where were you? What led up to the experience? What did he do to you that made it so great? What did you do to him? write down as many details as possible, then do the same for your worst sexual experiences, including the ho-humans. Compare the lists and use them to make another: list the significant things that make sex good for you and those that make it bad. Put them in order of importance and you should have a good idea of what you like, and what you don't. regularly ask yourself: What would I like more of in bed? What would I like less of? What can I do to make it better?
              . Start keeping a diary. Write down any sexy thoughts you have, any fantasies, how you felt when someone gave you a compliment. The aim is to remind yourself that you're a sexual person and find out what's stopping you from feeling sexy all the time. If you don't think of anything at all even related to sex and nothing happens, write that down, too. "Would rather have my fingernails pulled" is better than nothing. For every negative thought, try to write a reason why ("Because I'm so tired"). Keep the diary for at least three months. Rereading it will provide valuable insights into what's stopping those juices flowing.

              . More Please! Number of men who want more sex: 60 percent. Number of women who want more sex: 68.5 percent. The most sexually active age for men and women: between twenty-one and twenty -four.

              . Buy some erotic books. By that I mean whatever turns you on. It doesn't matter if it's Gardening by the Stars, if that causes a pleasant little ache down below, read it.

              . Start masturbating. Contrary to popular myth, masturbating while you're living with someone doesn't stop you from wanting "real" sex. The more you masturbate, the more your body gets used to having orgasms and starts craving sex on a regular basis.

              . Now involve your partner. The better sex is, the more you'll want it. Both of the you write down, being as specific as possible, what you do and don't like about your sex lives. Things like: Are you getting enough foreplay; what would you like more of, do the techniques suit you; are you happy with when, where, how often you have sex; what would you prefer; ideas on brining back the "newness." Also include relationship issues: Are you generally happy, what's upsetting you, what do and don't you like about the relationship. Be as honest as you can be.

              . Talk about it. Don't just hand over your lists- you'll both end up huffy. Instead, flip a coin to decide who goes first. You won? Okay, now go through your list and explain, point by point, as clearly as possible what you mean. Get your partner to repeat back to you, in their own words, what they think you've just said. This way, there's no room for misinterpretation. Then they get their turn and you summarize each of their points. When you've both said your piece you can then move into thinking up ideas of how to overcome any of the issues thrown up.

              . Contrary to popular belief, a new study suggests women under forty are just as likely to cheat as men their own age.

              . Do something about it. Each of you write down five things you could do to make sex better for your partner based on what they've just told you. Schedule one day per week or two to do the things on the list (don't try to do them all at once). Make one small change each time you have sex. After a while, the new behavior will become second nature.

              . Have sex even if the urge is tiny. This is a Taoist sex intercourse technique that "massages" the vagina and penis. Basically, he thrusts in a carefully sequenced order. 1. Only the head of the penis is inserted and withdrawn, nine times, then he thrusts the entire length in once. 2. Eight shallow strokes (penis head only), two deep strokes (with the entire length). 3. Seven of the shallow strokes, three deep ones. 4. Six shallow, four deep. 5. Five shallow, five deep. 6. Four shallow, six deep. 7. Three shallow, seven deep. 8. Two shallow, eight deep. 9. One shallow, nine deep.