The Daily Sex: Q & A Forum
Ask a Sex Question
Is too much masturbation unhealthy?
Dr. Sawyer: But what is too much masturbation? Although they wouldn’t admit it, many young men, from puberty through college, masturbate on a daily basis. Some masturbate as a substitute for a non-existent partner, others simply because they can. Women also masturbate, although usually, not at the stupendous rate of men. If the masturbation reaches obsessive levels, where similar to sex addiction, problems begin to arise, then obviously this ceases to be a positive activity, and then it’s too much.
I once worked with a male who masturbated 5-8 times daily, and because he’d begun to experience less sensation (no shit!) he’d taken to pouring rubbing alcohol on his penis which then had the look of a pound of ground beef … not good.
Masturbation won’t affect your sex drive, and for you men, the news is even better. A recent Australian study found that males who ejaculated more between the ages of 18-34 were much less likely to develop prostate cancer. So now men, you’re under doctor’s orders, you have to do it … strictly for medicinal purposes, right?
Is it true you can surgically “restore” your virginity?
Dr. Sawyer: In some cultures where female virginity is prized above all (while men, of course screw anything that moves while maintaining an impeccable reputation), a cottage industry of hymen reconstruction exists. The “surgeon” takes a very sheer piece of animal membrane, lightly sutures it across the opening of the vagina, and voila, she’s a virgin – again! Men think they know three things about a woman’s loss of virginity: there will be pressure because of the hymen; there will be bleeding; and inevitably, there will be pain. When the wedding night arrives the expectant man can’t wait to deflower his shy and “virginal” bride. Sex begins, and the man feels some pressure as the hymen is challenged; there will inevitably be a small amount of blood as the sutures give way, and the bride doesn’t have to be Natalie Portman to emit some convincing wails of pain. So there we have it … pressure, blood, pain, another virgin deflowered, a man’s honor satisfied. It doesn’t get any better than that!!
Can Stress Affect your Sex Drive?
Dr. Sawyer: Absolutely. Despite sex being touted as a stress reducer and a nice way to relax, too much stress can definitely kill your sex drive. In previous answers I’ve already discussed the complexity of a woman’s sexual response, and likened it to a computer motherboard, vulnerable to many external influences, like stress and anxiety. Although men’s sex drives tend to be less inhibited by extraneous problems, at a very fundamental physiological level, the male erection is nothing more than a spinal reflex that kicks in a vascular response, and so stress and anxiety, often at the subconscious level, can directly interfere with a man’s ability to get busy, leading to much amazement, embarrassment and huge disappointment. Being stressed out is definitely not a positive in the world of sex.
What is the most common sex mistake that men make?
Dr. Sawyer: Most men believe that women should achieve orgasm every time they have sex. The new millennium man is a sensitive guy who, after watching Entourage and reading his girlfriend’s Cosmo, realizes that women have orgasmic needs, and damn it, he’s going to keep hammering away until she reaches Nirvana. Men need to realize, that unlike their sexual response pattern that permits an erection in under five seconds, even women who do orgasm regularly are not necessarily going to achieve climax every time. Guys need to get off the ego train and understand it’s not their technique that’s at fault, it’s just one of those days...or nights. That’s why so many women fake orgasm. In my class, one of my male students asked women why they fake orgasm—the response: “To make it stop!”
How late after sex can you take the morning-after pill?
Dr. Sawyer: The most frequently used morning-after-pill (emergency contraceptive or EC) is Plan-B, which is approved to be effective up to three days after sex. A more recent addition to the market is Ella, which has been approved for up to five days after sex, so you can see the “morning-after” name on these products isn’t too accurate. However, there’s little doubt that the sooner a woman takes EC after sex, the more likely that she won’t become pregnant. So if that condom broke or you were too hammered to even think about contraception, don’t bask in the glow of that five-day window of opportunity, get EC as soon as possible.
Dental Dams: do people use them?
Dr. Sawyer: Dental dams are rectangular sheets of latex pioneered in the late 80’s to assist dentists when drilling teeth. They were co-opted by the safer sex crowd to cover the opening to the vagina during bouts of cunnilingus (that’s oral sex on a female to the uninitiated). The idea was to prevent direct contact and thereby reduce transmission of infections…nice idea until the dental dam got wet and relocated to the nether regions of the vagina. Some folks liked using them, but they probably weren’t much better than Saran Wrap and their use today seems pretty limited.
Does birth control affect sex drive?
Dr. Sawyer: Although this is by no means an extremely common occurrence, some oral contraceptives (the pill) have been known to reduce libido in their users, which is a total bummer given the very reason you’re taking the pill is to be able to have sex. Maybe that’s how the pill works … you take it, lose your sex drive, never have sex and therefore you don’t get pregnant? … No, not really. If you do take the pill and feel like your libido is disappearing, see your medical practitioner and ask if there is another type of pill you could try. Finding the right pill for you given all the products on the market today is possibly more art than science.
Why is it harder for a girl to have an orgasm?
Dr. Sawyer: Think of sex in culinary terms – a man is a microwave oven while a woman is a crock pot. A woman’s sexual response model looks like the complicated motherboard of a computer, while a man’s is a simple on/off switch. Add to these mechanical differences the fact that most young men masturbate daily and can accomplishing a climax in seconds if necessary, also placing the importance of an orgasm right up there with any bodily function like a sneeze. A generalization, I know, but most women have a sexual response pattern that might be influenced by extraneous factors like, does she actually like the guy, does she really want to have sex, is she in the mood, did the guy piss her off earlier in the day, you get the idea … it’s not just about the sex. By the way, it’s perfectly normal that most women will not orgasm every single time they have sex, unlike men who would find that hard to live with!
What are the best lubricants and will they stimulate your sex drive?
Dr. Sawyer: There are a bunch of lubricants on the market today, but NONE of them will increase your libido (sex drive). They do what their name suggests – they provide lubrication. The first developed lubes were just that, and were merely intended to make up for a deficit in natural lubrication, but today’s array of lubricants are way more exotic and appeal to the idea of spicing up the action, just look at some of the names: Sensual Silk, Intense Arousal, Pre-Seed Intimate, Tingling Jelly, My Boy Butter, (and the You’ll Never Know it isn’t Boy Butter relative), Fire and Ice if you really want to heat up or freeze your genitals, and of course if the mood takes you, Anal Lube. Simply stated, there are three main types of lubricants and each has its pros and cons. Water-based lubes are easy to clean up and are less likely to cause yeast infections, but don’t last as long. Oil-based lubes tend to have more slipperiness and last longest, but can lead to yeast infections and tend to break down latex condoms. Silicone-based lubes are longer lasting than water-based lubes, but require longer clean up times, can stain sheets and clothing. It’s all a matter of taste.
Does size really matter?
Dr. Sawyer: In male/female sex—a woman’s physical sexual response is primarily derived from clitoral stimulation. Additionally, the vagina has no nerve endings on its inner two-thirds. So given those two facts, a man providing stimulation and whose penis is at least 2.5 inches long when erect should be able to get the job done!
Is semen actually good for your hair and teeth?
Dr. Sawyer: Absolutely, and it also raises your IQ by 50 points, makes you fluent in seven languages, automatically protects you against all cancers for the rest of your life, and guarantees you’ll win a gold medal in GULLABILITY. Are you kidding me?! The initial purveyor (and his fellow distributors) of this “seminal” information had to be a man. He gets props for the sheer balls of using an outrageous line like that, and who knows, maybe it even worked once. Why not? Come on, he’s doing you a favor by providing his semen (free of charge) that can only be extracted from his body through fellatio, he’s actually protecting you from cancer, what a guy! The short answer to this question is a resounding No!
What medications decrease the effectiveness of the pill?
Dr. Sawyer: There is some evidence that various drugs/medications might reduce the effectiveness of the pill. Some antibiotics like tetracycline; anti-depressants, anti-fungal, and anti-anxiety medications might be a problem, and even herbal supplements like St. John’s Wort have been linked with this problem. The research evidence on this issue isn’t very definitive, hence a lot of “might’s” and “coulds” so this becomes pretty confusing. If a woman has any doubts about combining the pill with medication, she should absolutely consult her practitioner.
Do lesbians have a lower risk of contracting HIV?
Dr. Sawyer: Back in the 1980s when AIDS first appeared and everyone was freaking out about this new disease, the conservative side of the political spectrum took great delight in suggesting that so many gay men were being infected and dying because they were being punished by the Almighty for their sick and disgusting behavior. I used to take great pleasure in countering such propaganda by commenting that lesbians must be God’s chosen people then, because they rarely if ever contract AIDS! Although this is a slight exaggeration, HIV/AIDS is rarely sexually transmitted between lesbians compared to gay men and heterosexual couples. Of course, there is always a risk of transmission from vaginal secretions that certainly contain HIV, but the risk of transmission is so much less when a penis isn’t part of the equation!
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