Masturbation

Foreplay

Intercourse

Orgasm

Sexual Etiquette

Contraception and STIs

Performance problems

Serious Sex-related issues

Fantasies

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

     

Sexual Etiquette

Searching for Mr. Or Ms. Compatible without making a complete fool of yourself

The old sexual etiquette books a mess-things crossed out and things added in all over the place- and quite frankly, I think it's the job of whosever invented the Pill to do the rewrite. Pregnancy-Pill everyone knew exactly what was expected of them: no sex before marriage (and not too much after it either). then along came that tiny, innocent-looking tablet and quicker than you could say "flower power," those nice, orderly sexual mores were scattered to the wind.
               No longer watching for a bun in the oven, women got out of the kitchen and raised temperatures elsewhere. Everyone flopped around on lumpy beanbags and gazed through dope-dulled eyes at globs of wax floating about in Lava lamps, trying to remember who they hadn't slept with so they could experience the free love phenomenon yet again. The advent of AIDS sent most scurrying back to the relative safety of monogamous relationships, but the damage was done. The rules of old no longer existed and no one's had the foggiest as to what's normal or expected since.
               No that it's stopped us from doing it a away. most Americans start having sex before they hit sixteen (the youngest of all nationalities polled in a worldwide survey!). The majority of people in the Western world are sexual veterans by age twenty-one. In fact, we're encouraged to experiment with several or lots of different partners to avoid a new no-no settling down before we're "ready." If you do defy your friend and get hitched, husbands and wives are urged to go out separately and see friends solo. "Space" is the new buzzword. So we go out alone, end up with someone else, get caught, then divorced and it's back to square one, the singles bar- bruised, battered, but determined not to miss out on what everyone else seems to be having.

              . Eighty-four percent of women are not satisfied emotionally with their relationships. Twenty-six percent of single, never married women (20-30)aren't interested in getting married. Forty-six percent of divorced women do not want to marry again.

It's astonishing any of us bother dating at all given the mine-field of potential disasters that go along with it. Because there really is no one right answer to today's between-the-sheets dilemmas, most of use seem to invent our own rules as we go along. But there are some broad guidelines emerging. Here, some hopefully helpful solutions to a selections of the most common questions asked by men and women in, or contemplating, a new relationship.

Dating Dilemmas

How do I tell if she's interested but just playing hard to get?
               Even if she is test-running the "treat-'em-mean-keep-'em-keen" theory, she's probably giving out some signals. Does she look you straight in the eye when she talks to you? Does she always seem to be near you even though she pretends she'd rather not be? Do you catch her looking at you when she doesn't think you're looking at her? If you're not even close enough to put any of these theories to the test, there's no alternative but to pick up the phone and ask her out. If she's busy the night you suggest, she'll suggest another if she wants to see you. She didn't? she's not playing hard to get, she is hard to get (that is, give up now).

Is it okay if I call to ask him out? Don't men always like to be one who conquers?
              Some of the most confident women I know still won't pick up the phone to ask a man out on a date, which isn't very fair when true equality between the sexes means sharing the male pressures as well as pleasures. The first move-which means facing a possible slap-in-the-face rejection- is still usually left up to him (even though most men I know said they'd be stoked if a woman called to ask them out). So strike one for sisterhood and pick up that phone if you like someone. If he instantly thinks you must (a) desperate to do him, (b) hard up, or (c) one of those "ball-breaking career women," it's better to find out he's a jerk before you waste time waxing your bikini line.

Who pays on the first date?
              Whoever asked who out. If that's him, he'll usually, expect to cough up the cash, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't offer. For-get the notions that letting him pay for your meal means you own him something (sex, for instance). If during the date you start to think he is assuming that, feign sickness and leave. Otherwise, graciously accept his offer to pay even if you're squirming because you earn twice as much as he does. He's not being a chauvinist or playing power games, just doing what he thinks he should. Split the bill from them on or take turns paying. Most couples split expenses proportionate to their respective salaries. The poorer partner can even the score by doing things that require less cash (cooking dinner at home, supplying the wine, etc.).

What if I really don't like her after the first date. Do I have to take her phone number?
               No, though lots of guys do because it's far easier to say "I'll call you" then disappear into the night. ( Look up "bastard" in the dictionary and you'll find their picture.) if you haven't enjoyed yourself, take a deep breath and say something like, "Thanks. It's always nice meeting new people. Perhaps we'll run into each other again." She won't wait by the phone, and you won't feel guilty for making false promises.

What if he said he'd call then doesn't?
              Give him a little time to gather courage (he'll often take longer to call if he's really keen) but as a general rule, the old theory that if he hasn't called within three days he isn't going to is pretty accurate. He's not calling. Either accept it or call him. if you slept together and he doesn't call the next day, it's also unlikely he's going to. He hasn't had an accident, his mother's not dying in the hospital, and there's nothing wrong with your phone.

I'm too scared to make the first move in case I'm accused of date rape. How do I get her to?
              Be honest. Say, "This whole date rape issue has really upset me. I'd hate to think a girl thought I was putting the moves on her when she didn't want me to. So, I I'll leave it up to you to call the shots." Any girl who doesn't think you're a sweetheart after a speech like that isn't worth dating. She probably won't unzip your jeans within the next sixty seconds, but she may give you an unmistakably passionate kiss that hints she wants more. If you think she does, ask, "Can I take things further?"

              . Number of men who admit they've tried to get a girl drunk or high to get her into bed: 30 percent. Men who'll go "as far as she'll let me" on a first date: 28 percent.

How do I initiate sex with a new guy without coming on like I'm desperate?
              Most men will love it if you do seem desperate for sex. But I identify with your dilemma. The old "I'll just slip into something more comfortable" routine goes down well in a James Bond movie, but the only time I've ever said it in a real life, I meant it- and came out in sweat pants and slippers.
               If you're stuck at the quick-peck-on-the-cheek stage, he's either gay, wants the two of you just to be friends, or he doesn't think he has the green light to progress any further. Are you sure you're sending the right signals? Women who are ready for sex go further than holding eye contact - they move closer, touch the guy a lot, linger over that good-night kiss.
               One way of getting the message across loud and clear but in a subtle way is to ask him over to dinner (complete with candles, romantic music, and a sexy outfit). Give him a hug in the kitchen then a sexy kiss; afterward, sit next to him on the couch and put your legs on his lap. Later, initiate some passionate kissing- most men won't need more than that to take things from there.
               If he still sits there with his hands shoved between his knees, behave like the liberated woman you are: tell him outright you want to make love to him. if he reacts as if your invitation is promiscuous or unladylike, he'd be a bore in bed anyhow.

When is it okay to sleep with him so he won't think I'm easy?
              Plenty of people regret sleeping with someone too soon, not too many people regret waiting it out. There's no magic formula but there is a sexual double-standard. Some guys will think you're "easy" if you sleep with them after dating every weekend for sex weeks, others won't judge you if you sleep with them the first night. the "norm," if indeed there is one, is probably after at least three or four dates. (But what constitutes a date? Is a Friday through to Sunday stint one or three?)
              When you sleep with each other depends very much on what you want from the relationship, how well you're getting along, your sexual pattern, morals, upbringing - a whole host of issues. Don't make the decision if you've been drinking heavily and don't do it until both of you feel comfortable with each other.

Whose responsibility is it to provide the condom? Will he think I'm a slut if I do?
              Both of you should always carry condoms. It's a shared responsibility. If you're single, it doesn't mean you sleep around; it means you're sensible and (like a good Girl Scout) prepared for anything. If you're married with six kids, on the Pill, and produce the condom, it's a little fishy but even then (especially then), prudent. If he gives you withering "What sort of girl are you?" look when you grab one, put it back in your handbag, put your clothes on, and leave.

I start out with every intention of using a condom but it all flies out the window if I've had a few drinks and get carried away. when is the right time to bring the subject up and the condoms out?
              We've all woken up the morning after and felt sick from more than just the hangover. "Did I or didn't I?" your groggy brain tries to deduce, then you find it, there in your bag, still in the wrapper.
              Many people righteously carry enough condoms to solve the world's population problem; not so many actually use them. Unfortunately, a condom won't protect you against HIV (the virus that can lead to full-blown AIDS) unless it's actually on his penis. You'll be more inclined to practice what you preach if they're within reach, so keep some near the bed as well as in your purse.
              When's the best time to talk about safe sex? Somewhere between the first drink and taking your clothes off. Make it personal rule to discuss- and produce- condoms while you're still fully clothed. You'll be far less likely to get so turned-on that you conveniently forget.

              . An unfaithful boyfriend can do more than break your heart- he could give you cancer. If he's playing around and not using condoms, he ups your chance of contracting a strain of HPV (human papilloma virus), which is strongly linked to cervical cancer.

Don't say, "You might have AIDS, I think we should use a condom," but "God, I'm so turned-on. I think we'd better get a condom out now because once we start, there's no way we'll want to stop." In other words, don't suggest using a condom, take it for granted that you will. If he tried to talk you out of it or refuses to wear one, give sex- and him- wide berth.

When is it acceptable not to wear condoms?
              Many couples decide to get tested for AIDS when they've been going out a while, don't want to have sex with anyone else but their partner, and don't want to continue using condoms. Before being tested, make sure you haven't had unprotected sex (sex without a condom) for at least three months; the result will be inconclusive otherwise. Keep using condoms until the test results come back. if you both test negative and are committed to being monogamous, you've reduced your risks substantially.
               Note I said reduced you risks. Unfortunately, there's no way of telling whether your partner will be faithful or if he or she will use condoms if they do have sex with someone else. (Make sure you organize alternative contraception if you don't want to get pregnant.)

I want to ask my new lover how many lovers they've had so I can determine how risky they are as a sexual partner. How do I approach it?
              Are you serious? It's not worth wasting your breath. For a start, how do you know he or she is telling the truth? How do they know all their previous partners were telling the truth? Even if they have only slept with their childhood sweetheart, it doesn't mean they're not carrying HIV. You can become infected from just one encounter of unprotected sex and the risk doesn't necessarily increase with the number of partners you've had. The guy who's slept with 1000 women but used a condom every single time is safer than the man who's had unprotected sex six times. Skip the pointless chitchat; put on a condom instead.

              . Average number of sexual partners for most American men: 13.1 Average number for American women: 5.8 Global average: 9.5. The American average tops the poll at 14.3.
I have genital herpes. How do I tell my new man?
              Start by reading the "Fessing up: How to tell a lover you have an STI" section. It's not that difficult. Honest.