I hope this problem isn't too boring: I adore my smart, affectionate, sexy husband, but he's impotent. We don't really need medical advice--we know why. (It started out as a physiological problem, side effects from antidepressants; now it's psychological.) He's currently--and willingly--seeing a psychiatrist, but I need some advice on how we can get back in the saddle. Direct discussions about the problem make him feel worse and more inadequate. He's even admitted he avoids situations where we might fool around, because if he doesn't try he can't fail. I'm getting a bit desperate--I'm having fantasies about posting on Craigslist and finding some NSA sex--but really I just want to have hot sex with my husband! I want to be understanding, but I also really need to get some. Asking him to use a strap-on is just plain insensitive, right? --Help One Really Neglected Young Woman
Your husband avoids fooling-around situations, or FAS, because he feels he won't be able to satisfy you, his theory being no bone, no satisfaction. That seems to be your theory too, HORNYW, but embracing it is making your problem worse. It's perfectly understandable that he would avoid FAS--and the humiliation of failure--until he's absolutely positive he can keep it up. That's why the best approach in a situation like this is to take the focus--and the pressure--off the guy's dick. Tell him he can't fail to satisfy you with oral sex, masturbation, and toys (perhaps working your way up to strap-ons) and he'll begin to think of sex as something he's good at again, boned or boneless.
And guess what, HORNYW? You may find that once your husband isn't expected to produce an erection during FAS, his dick starts getting hard. But resist the urge to jump on his cock the first time--the first few dozen times. If you selfishly jump on one of those early hard-ons and he loses his erection, well, you might as well take a belt sander to his balls. Those first erections are not for you, HORNYW, they're for him. You should both agree in advance that if he gets hard and wants to get off he's going to beat off while he eats you out, or fingers you, or watches you get yourself off. Before you can reconnect with his dick, your husband has to reconnect with it--i.e., he needs to get back to a time when his dick was something that gave him pleasure, not something that failed to satisfy you. Trust me, HORNYW, when that happens he'll fuck you senseless so often you'll long for the days of FAS avoidance.
I'm 21, and I've always had trouble coming during sex, no matter the position, size of the guy, etc. But it doesn't bother me because I have no trouble coming during oral or manual stimulation. So it's never really been a problem--until I started sleeping with this new guy. Soon after I start moaning and getting into it, he starts whispering for me to "Come on, baby." When he's about to come he's like, "I hope you're getting close, I want to come with you." And then after we're done he'll ask if I got there or not! I've told him that I basically just don't come during sex, but that doesn't deter him, and I'm getting kind of sick of the pressure. Should I just fake it? --Pestered Girl
A woman should never fake an orgasm during vaginal intercourse, PG, as it reinforces the most damaging misconception there is about female sexuality--namely, that all women can climax from vaginal intercourse alone. In fact only 25 percent of women can come during vaginal intercourse. The overwhelming majority of women require additional focused clitoral stimulation--manually, orally, a vibrator. If your current boyfriend is really invested in you getting off while he's fucking you, tell him that he's going to have to get a hand down there too or be cool with you using your hand while he fucks you. Or he can buy himself one of those cock rings with a vibrator built into the top of it and grind that into your clit while he fucks you.
I love hearing my boyfriend say nasty things to me while we fuck. My problem is that my boyfriend doesn't like to talk dirty. He says he doesn't think he's good at it. I don't need dirty talk to get off, so our sex life is still great. But how do I coax him out of his shell? --Girl Wants a Bedtime Story
Tell your boyfriend that all he needs to do during sex is tell you what he's about to do ("I'm going to fuck you . . ."), tell you what he's doing ("I'm fucking you . . ."), and tell you what he's just done ("I fucked you . . ."). He doesn't have to be an expert at dirty talk to do that; he just has to be able to keep his tenses straight. If he's got a high school education he should be able to do that much.
You recently wrote, "Each and every one of us embarrasses himself in some way when he loses his virginity. Mortification can't be avoided." I thought it would be great if you asked your readers for their embarrassing stories about losing their virginity. That way your yet-to-be-deflowered readers won't feel alone when they have their mortifying moments.
I'll start: My freshman year of college I had been dating my girlfriend for a couple months. We had done pretty much everything else there was to do and we were in love, like any good freshman couple, so we decided to have sex. Since it was her first time too it was rather painful for her, and I went very slowly, moving just half an inch deeper at a time. Finally I was all the way in and stopped. She felt me stop and sweetly said the words every man longs to hear in bed: "Is that it?" She was asking me if I was all the way in or whether she should brace for more; she just didn't realize what she had said until it was too late. I was mortified, of course, and it took much consoling to rebuild my confidence. --My Ego Eventually Recovered
That's a swell idea, MEER. Savage Love readers are hereby invited to e-mail their mortifying true stories of losing their virginity. Keep 'em under 200 words and send 'em to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll run a bunch in an upcoming column--I may even include my own deeply mortifying tale o' woe.
Speaking o' tales o' woe, remember SASA, the straight boy who, thinking only with his dick, went to a strange woman's dark apartment in the middle of the night for an NSA blow job? The oral turned into anal and the woman turned out to be a dude. SASA was a bit stressed--about HIV, about doing a dude--and I addressed those issues. He also wanted to know if he was raped and, if so, what he should do about it. I invited Savage Love readers to weigh in. You can read the results at link.thestranger.com/surprisedate.
Dan Savage's new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, is on sale now.