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Hey, Faggot:

I've been seeing my current girlfriend for about three years. During our very first lovemaking session, she said, "Don't think I'm one of those women who bucks and moans." What she meant was that she had never had an orgasm in her life (she's now 39). All my attempts to move her in that direction by fingering, licking, and vibrating her clit have failed. Initially she was open to using a vibrator, but used it only when I encouraged her. After prolonged sessions with the vibrator, she said she began to "feel something"--but she also came down with a case of honeymoon cystitis and is now afraid to use the vibrator lest she get this infection again.

What's more, she claims not to be able to bring herself anywhere near orgasm by any method. My observation is that she seems afraid of a potentially involuntary response. Should I consider her the proverbial "frigid" woman? She isn't cold, really. In fact, she's very much interested in sexual contact. But she can't come. She likes intercourse and lubricates well, but I've done all the usual things to no avail. Should I move on to someone new? Is there any hope for my girlfriend? I've told her that for me, something vital is missing in our love life, but I think she really has no idea what I'm talking about since she's never experienced orgasm nor, apparently, any heightened sensations that might lead in that direction. Is she simply phobic?

--No Avail

Hey, NA:

She may or may not be phobic, but I don't think your girlfriend is the one with the problem here. She isn't one of those girls who bucks and moans--so what? It sounds like she enjoys sex, she's an enthusiastic partner, and I'll betcha that in her own quiet way, she's gettin' off.

While it's nice you're concerned, you sound more concerned with having your ego stroked than with her pleasure. It's commendable that you're willing to do what it takes, but maybe she's content with things the way they are. So let it go. If you keep pushing her, she'll be left with the not-entirely-inaccurate impression that you regard her orgasms as something she owes you. Maybe if you placed a little less pressure on her to have orgasms for your benefit, she'd buck and moan a little.

Hey, Faggot:

I don't know if I have genital herpes or not. I've always experienced bumps "down there." Of late, I've developed red, swollen sores, one near my labia, the other on it. When I urinate over them, they hurt, but I examined them, and they don't come in clusters or occur for a particular reason. Please offer advice. I am one of the millions of people who, if they have some genital dysfunction, are too embarrassed and ashamed to ask for a doctor's help.

--Stirrup Shy

Hey, Stirrups:

According to Terri Clark of Planned Parenthood's Nassau County office in Hempstead, New York, "It definitely sounds like you may have genital herpes," but we can't say for sure, because THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN'T DO THROUGH THE MAIL--like have a look at the sores on your labia. The only advice I can offer you is this: get your chickenshit ass to a doctor. "Many people find it very difficult to talk about sex and sexual health," said Ms. Clark. "Please don't let embarrassment become a health risk. Speak honestly about your sex life and your sexual-health concerns with your health-care provider."

And you should also be honest with your sex-advice provider--me--but remember there's only so much I can do for you via the column. I can't see you, I can't tell you what those bumps are, and I can't send you a prescription for any of the meds available now to treat and help prevent herpes outbreaks. If you're old enough to have sex, you're old enough to say to your doc, "I think you need to take a look at my pussy."

Hey, Faggot:

I am a 30-year-old female having a problem paying my bills. I was wondering if you know how I can start a 900 phone-sex line at home, if that is possible. Please let me know. I need to get out of this sinkhole that I created.

--900

Hey, 900:

Here's a quote from AT&T's 900 Service info sheet: "AT&T will not provide [900 services] for any program whose message content or promotional material contain, in words or visual images, the following: vulgar language, explicit or implicit descriptions of violence or sexual conduct, adult entertainment, disparagement of the general use of telecommunications or computer products and services." No adult entertainment? No "disparagement" of telecommunications equipment? What do people do on AT&T's 900 lines? Swap cookie recipes?

Thankfully, MCI has no pansy-assed content restrictions, so consider switching your long-distance service to MCI at the same time that you set up a home-based 900 line. MCI charges its 900-line customers 31 cents a minute for each call, plus a monthly "minimum usage fee" of $35 per 900 number and a "monthly recurring charge" of $100 per 900 number. You, of course, make money by charging your customers something more than 31 cents a minute. People can't call 900 lines they don't know exist, so you'll need to take out ads in skanky publications (like this one) in order to get your 900 number under the noses of men desperate to hear vulgar language and disparaging comments about telecommunications equipment. For more info, call MCI's 900 Information line at 900-733-6249. Guess what? That call will cost you $4. You also might want to go to your local book shoppe and order yourself a copy of Bob Bentz's Opportunity Calling: How to Start Your Own Successful 900 Number. Good luck.

Hey, Faggot:

I would like to know if your readers can respond to authors of the letters you run in your column--if there's any way you can put your readers in touch with each other. If so, please let me know. I thought one female whose letter recently ran in your column was really getting the short end of the stick from her lover. I'd love to give her the long end of my stick, so I would like to know if you would forward a letter to her for me. What do you say?

--Gotta Know

Hey, GK:

Just keep that stick in your pants there, pal. I will generally forward mail I get for folks if they've included a return address, but the woman you wanna get in touch with didn't, so I can't help you. Folks who wanna send in notes should be warned that while I'm happy to forward your letters, I do open and read letters before sending them along. Why? Primarily because I'm nosy, but also because I don't wanna forward hate mail. Abusive letters don't get forwarded, they get trashed. (Except for abusive letters to me--they go right in the column.)

If you're sending me a question and want mail forwarded to you, remember to include a return address. Or, if you're young and modern, include an E-mail address, and I'll put it in the column with your letter. That way anyone who feels your pain (or wants to cause your pain) can write you directly.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago IL 60611.

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