Apr 252013

I gave my Sexploration lecture at Bucknell University on Tuesday April 23, and there was a huge crowd. I often do anonymous questions at college events where students write their questions on notecards and everyone has to write something, even if it’s “no question.” The anonymity gives folks the freedom to ask their most pressing questions. I only had time to answer about 60% of the questions, so I’m answering the rest here. I’ve combined some questions that are on the same topic.

Is it weird that I want sex all the time even though I’m a virgin?
No. It’s common to have sexual desires regardless of your sexual experience. Remember what I said about the problematic concept of virginity? I encourage you to define sex as broadly as you want and not buy into the cultural construction of virginity.
Recommended: The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

How often do most people masturbate?
It varies wildly from person to person, and how often just one person masturbates can vary depending on their energy level, desire, stress, opportunity, etc. There are some interesting stats you can check out. In general, I don’t think masturbation is ever a bad thing. Everyone should have a sexual relationship with themselves, and it’s a great way to figure out what you like.

I masturbate so much it’s turned into a chore; any tips for spicing it up?
Masturbation shouldn’t be a chore! But people can get into a repetitive rut. Don’t think of it merely as a quick way to get off, think of it as a date with yourself. Try changing positions, experimenting with new stimulation techniques, adding lube and a toy to the mix.

How long does it take to give a guy a blow job?
There is no set amount of time that it takes anyone to do anything sexual. If you’re giving the blow job, take charge of the situation and do it for as long as it feels good, for as long as you want to. If you get tired or overwhelmed, switch to using your hand or doing something else.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio

How long should a guy last during a blow job?
I hate to repeat myself, but: there is no set amount of time. Depending on the guy, the stimulation of oral sex could bring him to orgasm slowly, quickly, or not at all. Blow jobs do it for some people and not for others.

How nutritious is semen and how can I convince my girlfriend to swallow?
Semen has little to no nutritional value because you don’t ingest all that much of it. You don’t want to convince anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. You can share your desire with her and tell her why it turns you on, but ultimately, it’s her choice to swallow or not, and you’ve got to respect it. Also, swallowing semen is a riskier practice in terms of safer sex than not swallowing, and I am a fan of condoms for blow jobs.

How do you improve oral sex?
Since you didn’t specify, I’m going to make some statements that apply to all kinds of oral sex (cunnilingus, fellatio, and analingus), then give you some particulars. Enthusiasm, focus, tenacity, and paying attention to your partner’s body language are all good qualities to have when giving oral sex. Use your fingers and hands along with your mouth. For cunnilingus, experiment with different techniques using your lips, mouth, and tongue, and ask your partner to tell you what she likes (if she doesn’t know, explore and ask her to alert you when you’ve stumbled on something great). For fellatio, concentrate on the head and the sensitive frenulum on its underside (remember our anatomy lesson); experiment by applying different amounts of pressure with your mouth along the head and shaft. For analingus, use your tongue and lips to get into the folds of the sensitive anus.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 1: Cunnilingus, The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio, and The Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio

I don’t think I enjoy sex at all. The picture of the vagina (in your presentation) made me squirm, and I have one. What can I do to be comfortable and enjoy the experience when my partner wants to have it?
First, this is a question I can’t answer with a pithy one minute (or three sentence) response. It was a line drawing, but an explicit one, of a vulva, and we are not used to looking at those images on the big screen or in public, so it can make some people uncomfortable for a number of reasons. But you said you don’t enjoy sex at all. Could you be asexual? If you have sexual desire, then it’s a matter of getting comfortable with your body and with sex. Do you masturbate? It all begins there, so I’d start with establishing a sexual relationship with yourself before you address sex with a partner.
Recommended: Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving

What is the best way to have sex in a long distance relationship?
I assume you mean when you and your partner are apart? Use technology to keep you connected. Dirty text messages, naughty instant messages, steamy emails, and Skype with mutual masturbation. I caution you against sending naked or sex pictures to each other, however, since we’ve seen all the trouble that can cause.

Got any good positions?
Each position has its pros and cons, and experimentation is key. If you like Missionary, try Flying Missionary where the person on their back puts their feet on their partner’s chest. If you like Cowgirl, try Froggie where the person on top balances on their feet. If you like Doggie Style, try Tailgate, where the receiver lies on their stomach and the penetrator then lies directly on top of them.

Do you have tips for using a toy to stimulate the G-spot?
Pick a curved toy like Pure Wand, and always aim the curve toward the front of the person’s body. Many G-spots respond to deliberate, firm pressure rather than gentle stroking, so don’t be afraid to apply pressure—just make sure your partner is aroused and ready before you do.
Recommended: The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation and The Big Book of Sex Toys

Does size matter?
The easy answer is no. People are way too wrapped up in penis size, when most folks want a compassionate, responsive lover more than a particular size. But I don’t want to deny that everyone has different tastes and turn ons, and some people do like penetration with big stuff. But that’s why God created dildos.

How do I get a vibrator and which kind do I get?
If possible, visit a sex-positive store like The Smitten Kitten, Good Vibrations, or Babeland. When you shop in person at stores like these, the toys are out of their packages, so you can see and feel them, feel the vibration, hear how quiet or loud they are, plus you benefit from the advice of experienced sex educators who work there. If that’s not possible, try one of their websites; they all have detailed product information and customer reviews.
Recommended: The Big Book of Sex Toys

I’m a girl. Do I need to shave my pubic hair before I have sex?
Your pubic hair is your business! It’s a matter of personal taste, just like how you cut and style your other hair. Some people let it grow, others trim it back, and others wax or shave some or all of it off.

As a female, how do you know if you’ve had an orgasm?
I want to say, “Oh you’ll know!” but I want to be more specific. Some of the physiological responses include: a feeling of release; muscle contractions of the uterus, vagina, and sphincter muscles; other muscle contractions and muscle tension throughout the body; involuntary muscle responses that cause you to make strange faces; and cramping of hands and feet. Talking to your peers about what their orgasms feel like is a great way to open up a conversation and hear from real people about their experiences.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Female Orgasms and The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime

How long does it take a woman to climax?
There is no set amount of time, and I hesitate to even say there is an average amount of time. Women often put pressure on themselves about this (I hear all the time “It takes me a really long time,” or “It takes too long”). Concentrate on what’s going on and how it feels, and don’t think about the clock and how you measure up to it.

Do you have any suggestions for mixing things up during sex?
Lube. Sex toys. Role play. Analingus. New positions. Porn. Do anything except intercourse. Mutual masturbation.
Recommended: What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

Do you poop when you have anal sex? How do you have “clean” anal sex?
When you have a bowel movement, feces stored in the colon pass through the rectum, down into the anal canal, and out the anus. The colon is the storage area, and the rectum and anal canal are pathways. If you have good bowel habits and plenty of fiber in your diet, then there should be very little fecal matter in the rectum and anal canal. When you play with fingers, a toy, or a penis, you’re not going beyond the rectum. Go to the bathroom before anal play. In addition, take a warm, soapy shower or bath before anal sex to make sure your genitals are clean. You can even slide a soapy finger into your anus. Always use the most mild soap you can—either a castile or pure glycerine. A trip to the bathroom and a shower will go a long way toward you having relatively clean anal penetration. I say “relatively clean” because I want you to be realistic. There are no guarantees in life, and some amount of fecal matter may be present in someone’s rectum. If you want to go the extra step to make sure you’re totally cleaned out, you can give yourself an enema beforehand.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

How safe is anal sex and how do I avoid anal fissures?
I always recommend that people use safer sex barriers if they are not currently tested and in a sexually monogamous relationship. You can transmit most sexually-transmitted infections (including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HPV, genital warts, herpes, and HIV) through unprotected anal sex, especially penis/ass intercourse. In addition, as I said in my presentation, the ass is made of delicate, sensitive tissue which is susceptible to small tears or anal fissures. The best way to protect against them: use gloves to make your fingers butt-friendly, use plenty of lube, focus on warm up and don’t rush penetration, and, as the receiver, listen to your body.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

Is it inappropriate to go up to someone and say, “Wanna fuck? Right here, right now?” (I’m female.)
I like people being direct about what they want. I appreciate shameless assertion of your desires. So I don’t think it’s inappropriate to speak your desires in the right context with potential lovers. But, that said, there are repercussions for women who speak openly about their sexual desire, so you’ve got to take those into account, knowing that reactions to your honesty will be mixed (see next question).

How can I, as a woman, express wanting to have sex without looking like a slut?
Just do it. Own it. Don’t let anyone shame you for your sexual desires, experience, or consensual behavior. And don’t shame other women for theirs. Don’t buy into our society’s double standards that applaud men for their sexual prowess and punish women for the very same behavior. (Easier said than done, I know.)
Recommended: He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

How do we as a society combat false sex information like the “What Not To Do Guide to BDSM,” aka Fifty Shades of Grey?
You’re right, Fifty Shades of Grey is not an instruction manual, it’s a romance novel with some kink thrown in. But lots of people have read it and it’s opened up conversations about kinky sex, which is ultimately a good thing for society. If a friend mentions reading it or being inspired by it, be ready to let them know that it’s not a how-to and have recommendations for other resources that give solid information about BDSM.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction

I am really into bondage. How do I bring it up to a casual hookup without being scary and intense?
It’s all in the way you present it. Be direct and put it out there (“I want to tie you up” or “It would turn me on if you tied me up”) and make it clear that it’s a suggestion that your partner is welcome to embrace or turn down. If they agree, be prepared to give them information about safety before you start and always use a safeword.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

How does a girl approach the idea of being a dominant with a guy?
Talk about roleplaying fantasies and see what kinds of scenarios you each come up with. Suggest some scenes where you play a dominant role and see what he says. Context is everything.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Why do I have rape fantasies? It feels problematic.
Our fantasies often do not reflect our politics. Rape fantasies can be about exploring submission, masochism, surrender, objectification, control, and a slew of other dynamics. Although “rape” is the hot-button word in this question, the operative word here is fantasy. It’s a fantasy where you create the script, imagine the details, call the shots, and know how it ends—which is an entirely different thing than actual rape.
Recommended: Toybag Guide to Playing With Taboo and Mollena Williams’ two chapters in The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Any advice for a woman who wants to peg her man? Techniques, a particular toy, a particular position?
Pegging is strap-on anal sex where the woman is the giver and the man the receiver, and it can open up a whole new world of erotic exploration for couples. Great anal sex is all about the warm up. You’ve got to take your time, relish each sensation, and tease your partner into a frenzy before any serious penetration begins. As for toys, I love the Mistress dildo by Vixen Creations and any harness made by Aslan Leather.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and The Expert Guide to Pegging

What are your thoughts on tantra, sexual ecstasy and spirituality?
That’s a big question on a big topic. More and more people are getting interested in sacred sexuality, the intersection of sex and spirituality, sex magic, and Tantric sex. I want to refer you to two of the best, most accessible books on the subject: Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life.

How do you feel about porn, which often portrays false or fantastical situations? How realistic is porn? Is it misleading?
Well, it depends on the porn! Much of mainstream pornography portrays a fantasy and a performance, so there’s a lot of athletic positions, high energy and high libido, heightened reactions to stimulation, and earth shaking orgasms (both real and performed). You don’t often get to see honest communication, awkward moves, enough warm up before intercourse, a focus on other kinds of sex besides intercourse, partners being shy or quiet, stopping and starting, and much more. I like to portray more realistic sexual scenes in my films, where people verbally negotiate, ask for what they want, use lube and sex toys, focus on activities that turn them on rather than a “script” of how sex should unfold, get into positions that feel good for them, and allow enough arousal time and stimulation to allow female performers to have real orgasms. There are lots of feminists who make porn, and you may want to check out their films as well as films featuring real couples including Make Love Not Porn.
Recommended: The Feminist Porn Book

How can gender identity affect a sexual experience or a sexual relationship (even mentally)? How can we avoid gender identity becoming a point of contestation? We are both doms.
This question requires a longer answer, so I gave it its own Ask Tristan post.





Apr 172013

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This week on Sex Out Loud radio, we have two guests who help people fulfill their sexual potential. First we have author, educator, and coach Amy Jo Goddard who thrives on creating environments that foster growth and assisting people in having the delicious sex and relationships they desire. She believes that healthy, non-violent, fulfilling relationships are a key to changing the world. Then we have Robert Page, creator of the The Lover’s Guide, and the only non-fiction film to top the UK video charts that has since been translated into 13 languages and 22 territories. He’ll discuss how he came to produce the movies that The Independent calls “sexy, sensual, moral and responsible”.

This week’s show is live, so find out all the ways to listen here and you can call in with questions at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or even e-mail me via tristan(at)puckerup.com and I’ll read them live on the air!

Amy Jo Goddard is a sexual empowerment coach, author, and sexuality educator. She is founder of SPECTRA, a mentorship program to help sexuality professionals make more money doing the sexuality work they are passionate about. As a David Neagle Certified Miracle of Money coach, Amy Jo helps women and couples create financial abundance, sexual pleasure and create the relationships and lives they desire. She teaches her Women’s Sexually Empowered Life program in New York City and can be found blogging about all things sexual that make her tingle at www.amyjogoddard.com

The Producer of The Lovers’ Guide Series, Robert Page, is an award-winning producer, director and writer who has spent over 25 years working mostly in the field of adult education. He began creating the series on video in 1991 in the UK, where the original film sold over a million copies in its first year and was the first non-fiction film to top the Uk video charts. He has since supervised its growth into one of the world’s most authoritative sex series. And created the world’s first adult 3D theatrical feature: “The Lovers’ Guide 3D”. The material has been released as several books, magazines, and is the basis of the biggest dedicated website on the internet. Mr. Page is editor of “The Lovers’ Guide Laid Bare” and co-editor of “The Lovers’ Guide Illustrated Encyclopedia”. He is a respected member of AASECT; WAS and SSSS. He has written, lectured and broadcast extensively. He has two sons and lives in New York.

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Jan 242013


Even with its flaws, Fifty Shades of Grey has become a worldwide phenomenon that simply cannot be ignored. It has sparked broad discussion and exploration of BDSM among mainstream media and everyday folks. My book, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge came out at a perfect time last year just as the Fifty Shades craze was taking hold. But I realized that The Ultimate Guide to Kink is not necessarily geared for beginners, so I wanted to write a prequel to it. That book was just released by Cleis Press: 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM. It’s an e-book available for the Kindle and the Nook. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s been inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey, is curious about kink, wants more information, or is just beginning to explore it. 50 Shades of Kink is a practical guide that moves beyond the fantasy and gives practical advice and techniques based on real world experience. You’ll learn techniques and creative ideas for bondage, spanking, flogging, sensation play, and rough sex and how to eroticize power, cultivate deeper connections and incorporate kink into your sex life.

Jan 162013


Over the holidays, Reid Mihalko of ReidAboutSex.com launched an amazing new program, Relationship 10x. When it comes to improving your relationships and transforming your love life, there is so much hype out there these days, and it gets frustrating to wade through the noise to get to the gold nuggets. That’s why I’m so pleased to share Reid’s information with you.

Reid Mihalko (who you may remember from his appearance on my show Sex Out Loud) is down-to-earth, practical, and funny. And the information he’s sharing does make a powerful difference in relationships. He gets down to the nitty-gritty fast, and shows us fundamental changes we can make to help our partners feel loved, honored and cherished. Why? So they (and we) feel more connected and intimate, which means we all have more bandwidth and joy to support each other.

Reid has produced four free videos with tips and information to help improve your relationship communication and give you a sample of the Relationship 10x program. Check out all 4 of them below!

How to stop fighting like Cats and Dogs and start loving. Watch this video to find out if you’re a Cat or a Dog when it comes to romance…and how this knowledge can improve your dynamic.

Saying What You’ve Haven’t Been Saying. Sharing what you’re really feeling with your loved ones creates intimacy like nothing else. It also builds/rebuilds trust. Reid’s approach makes these conversations so much easier, that he give us a formula on how to speak up when it’s difficult!

Self-Expression Trumps Attraction. Ever wished it wasn’t so long until “til death do us part”? Feel like your relationship ran out of steam a while ago, and only a defibrillator would bring it back to life? It’s time to stop struggling trying to be something we’re not, and start being self-expressed. When you share your TRUE self, the people who love YOUR particular quirks and talents will be drawn to the real you. Naturally!

What Your Lover’s Body And A Wineglass Have In Common.  How do you listen to your partner’s body? Do you want to have more warm, magical, (and hot) touch in your life? Do you want your partner’s body to feel safe, open and alive under your hands? And to feel that open, deep passion yourself? Reid says that improving your ability to listen to your partner’s body and hear it is the best advice he can give you for how to transform your sexual and sensuality skillsets.

If you enjoyed those videos, you will love the entire Relationship 10x program. Relationship10x is a daily program you engage with for 6 weeks. This gives you and your partner time to get under the hood of your relationship, to recognize and break bad habits and anchor new, powerful ones in place. You’ll create new patterns of relating around communication, sex and affection and relationship IQ.

And it won’t take a lifetime. It can happen in as little as 10-minutes a day. Really.

In Relationship10x Reid will guide you in upgrading and updating your relationship skills so you can eliminate the conflicts and stress of trying to make old approaches work in a modern world. You and your loved ones deserve it!

Can you afford to let your relationships flounder one more day? Make 2013 the year you make your relationship 10X better. 

Nov 282012

Dr. Meg Barker comes to Sex Out Loud this Friday to discuss her new book, Rewriting the Rules, which addresses our current climate saturated with contradictory love advice. They examine both the old and new rules of relating and questions how useful they might be to managing our relationships today. Then Tristan interviews queer storyteller, author, and educator Sassafras Lowrey about hir novel, Roving Pack, set in an underground world of homeless queer teens. Lowrey will discuss the process of writing the book, responses from the community, as well as give a sneak peek to hir next collection, Leather Ever After, an anthology of kinky fairy tales. Tune in this Friday, November 30th at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT and find out all the ways to listen here!

Dr. Meg Barker is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and a therapist specialising in sexual and relationship issues. Meg has published books on relationships (Understanding Non-monogamies, Routledge), sexuality (Safe, Sane & Consensual, Palgrave MacMillan), and counselling (Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy, Sage) and is co-editor of the journal Psychology & Sexuality. Meg runs many public and professional events about sex and relationships (e.g. Critical Sexology, Sense about Sex, BiReCon), as well as providing training for the UK College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists. Meg was first author of The Bisexuality Report about bisexual experience in the UK (www.biuk.org). Meg’s most recent book Rewriting the Rules (Routledge) tackles the common ‘rules’ around love and sex that people often feel they must adhere to (www.rewriting-the-rules.com).

Sassafras Lowrey is an internationally award-winning storyteller, author, artist, and educator. Sassafras is the editor of the two time American Library Association honored, and Lambda Literary Finalist Kicked Out anthology (www.KickedOutAnthology.com) which brought together the voices of current and former homeless LGBTQ youth. Hir prose has been included in numerous anthologies and magazines recently ze received an Honorable Mention from the 2011 Astrea Lesbian Writers Fund. and Sassafras regularly lectures and facilitates LGBTQ storytelling workshops at colleges and conferences across the country. Hir debute novel Roving Pack (www.RovingPack.com) will be released October 2012, and ze is currently editing Leather Ever After an anthology of BDSM fairy tale retellings to be released by Ravenous Romance. Sassafras lives in Brooklyn with hir family. To learn more about Sassafras and hir work, visit www.SassafrasLowrey.com


Sep 102012

This Friday, September 14th, I’m thrilled to welcome Reid Mihalko to Sex Out Loud! Known for his charisma, wit and emphasis on integrity, Reid Mihalko travels the country teaching, coaching, consulting and collaborating on fulfilling his mission to create more self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual health for adults in and out of the bedroom. I talk with Reid about his work as a sex and relationships expert, including his favorite tips and stories from his workshops on a range of topics, including jealousy, self-confidence, and bedroom techniques. Reid will also talk about the Sex Geek Chic Challenge College Tour and how he’s taking sexual health, consent and relationship education to a new interactive level.

Sex and relationship expert Reid Mihalko of www.ReidAboutSex.com helps adults learn how to understand their lovers’ bodies and be better communicators so they can create more self-esteem, self-confidence and greater health in their relationships and sex lives, no matter what their self-expression of those happen to be.

From his rated-PG/PG-13 workshops (Cuddle Party, Speed-Flirting) to the rated-R (Iron Slut Sex Educator Showdown) to his explicit, NC-17 rated, Show-N-Tell sex education workshops (where audiences get to watch, take notes, and ask questions), Reid’s workshops have been attended by close to 40,000 individuals from myriad walks of life, orientations, relationship styles, countries and religions. Known for his charisma, wit and emphasis on integrity, Reid travels the country teaching, coaching, consulting and collaborating on fulfilling his mission: Create more self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual health for adults in and out of the bedroom.

Reid has been a featured speaker at dozens of conferences on relationships and sexuality and is a sought-after presenter and teacher at colleges and sex positive stores across the country.

Reid has been a writer and producer on a number of films and television projects about sex and relationships, and appears regularly in the media. He has also appeared on the Emmy award-winning talk show Montel, Fox News, VH1’s Scott Baio is 45 and Single, Showtime’s Penn & Teller’s Bulls**t!, Canada’s The Sex Files and SexTV, and the short-lived Life & Style, on NPR, Sirius’ Maxim Radio and Cosmo Radio, and in Marie Claire, GQ, Details, People, Newsweek, Seventeen Magazine, and The National Enquirer, as well as media across the globe in thirteen countries and at least seven languages.Known for his charisma, wit and emphasis on integrity, Reid Mihalko travels the country teaching, coaching, consulting and collaborating on fulfilling his mission to create more self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual health for adults in and out of the bedroom. Tristan talks with Reid about his work as a sex and relationships expert, including his favorite tips and stories from his workshops on a range of topics, including jealousy, self-confidence, and techniques. Reid will also talk about the Sex Geek Chic Challenge College Tour and how he’s taking sexual health, consent and relationship education to a new interactive level.

Aug 152012

Artwork by Joe Newton for The Stranger

While Dan Savage was on vacation, the “Savage Love” Letter of the Day—a.k.a. SLLOTD—had to go on! So Dan asked three different guest columnists to field his readers’ questions while he’s away. I was the guest columnist August 13-17! You can read each of my questions and answers on the SLOG, along with readers’ comments which were diverse and very opinionated here:

August 13: Even Less Kinky Than Plain Vanilla, about incompatibility, kinkiness, and communication
August 14: Fetishes, Porn, Meatballs, and Eggs, about women’s fetishes, a gyno sex fantasy, and gossip
August 15: Hungover and Hurt, about a partner’s boundary violation (trigger warning)
August 16: Maybe I’m More Vanilla Than I Thought, about crossdressing, anal, and sexual compatibility
August 17: Less Face, More Fuck, about a new Dom/sub sex partner who’s avoiding intercourse

Aug 032012

Do you feel that your partner is somewhat obligated to share their sexual fantasies with you, no matter how vanilla or bizarre? I’d love to know what my wife’s deepest darkest fantasies are but she says she doesn’t have any (ya right). Do you have any advice on getting it out of her, and do you feel like I do, that she sorta owes it to me as her partner and husband of 20yrs? I’ve assured her that nothing she could say would bother or upset me, and that I just want to do go with it and have fun, but she refuses. Is it any of my buisness? Thanks!

Your wife is not “obligated” to do anything. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for fifty hours or fifty years, she has the right to reveal her fantasies whenever she wants.

That being said, don’t take her shyness personally. When it comes sharing fantasies, everyone has a different comfort level. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people never reveal their fantasies, no matter how open and honest their partnerships. Why? Because, for these folks, fantasy needs to stay in the private world of their sexual imagination in order for it to remain arousing.

Moreover, consider the possibility that your wife may not fully understand her own desires. She may be confused, scared, or overwhelmed by what she wants and/or thinks. Verbalizing and explaining these fantasies may make them seem too real. In other words, she may not be afraid of revealing her desires to you, her husband, but rather, afraid of revealing them to herself.

My advice? Tell her your fantasies. Open up to her the way you want her to open up to you. When you ask her about her fantasies, don’t pressure her into revealing them or scoff if she says she has none. Give her time. Remind her that you would be accepting of anything and everything (that is, if you are accepting of anything and everything. Do not lie.) Most importantly, remember that she is not required to tell you her fantasies. They are her thoughts–not yours.

Got a burning question, problem, dilemma, or issue for our intern? Email intern at puckerup.com.

Abby Spector is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she majored in Feminist/Gender/Sexuality Studies. She is currently interning for Tristan, a job that allows her to write about sex, research feminist porn, and play with dogs (among other, equally awesome things). When she isn’t working, Abby enjoys comfortable nudity and salty foods. Her dream? A world where she could sit around naked and eat overly-salted french fries. Her blog is Sexy Awkward Times.

Jul 252012

Welcome to our newest feature: Ask The Intern, where each week, our intern answers your questions about sex, dating, and relationships (and sometimes Tristan chimes in as well). Our interns are smart people interested in working in the field of sexuality in some capacity, and you can find out more about the current intern in the byline below. Got a burning question, problem, dilemma, or issue for our intern? Email intern at puckerup.com.

I met this guy, really liked him, and we spent three days together—no sex, but did things that would lead to it. The first day, he told me he was talking to a girl. I assumed he meant dating a girl and it wasn’t serious. The next day, he said he was dating her for a year. But, that didn’t stop me from pursuing what I wanted—him on the third day. On Monday, he went back to New York, in love and intact.

And I’m in Chicago—confused. I really liked him and vice versa. Perhaps I’m mislabeling my confusion for nostalgia or anger? I let my guard down, and I never do that with guys. I told him private things and vice versa. A part of me despises myself for portraying myself as a sex object. How could I do that—to me and his girlfriend? I feel cheap, used and empty handed. I fell too fast. I want to believe he’s a nice guy but…I feel robbed of my own words and experiences. But there’s this quote: “Sharing doesn’t make you charitable, it makes you free.” Perhaps I don’t feel that way because I felt obliged into opening up. Or, perhaps I’m just thinking too much into this? Bottom line is will I ever be someone’s girlfriend and not some girl for the moment? How can I be a girlfriend? 

First things first—take the idea of being someone’s girlfriend off a pedestal. It’s not worth it. Despite what fairy tales tell us, there is no simple formula to being a significant other. Relationships are amorphous, confusing, DIY activities. So, instead of striving to be “a girlfriend,” ask yourself what you actually want from a romantic relationship. Stability? Monogamy? Consistent sex with a familiar body? Consistent sex with a handful of familiar bodies? The best part of real life is that you get to make your own relationship formula.

But there is one thing that most people want from a relationship, the glue that holds this DIY project together—trust. Unfortunately, it was this crucial puzzle piece that was missing from your weekend tryst. He wasn’t being honest with his long-term partner, which, in turn, made you question his motives. Moreover, he wasn’t being honest with you! Saying that you are “talking to a girl” sends a very different message from dating someone for a year.

At the same time, sneaking around can be exhilarating and sexy, so this “other woman” feeling might be part of what drew you to him in the first place. And that’s okay. It is natural to lust over what is off-limits. Red tape—both literal and metaphorical—is an incredible aphrodisiac.

But don’t feel cheap. Don’t feel like a sex object (unless you enjoy objectification, but it doesn’t sound like that’s your thing). Don’t judge yourself for letting your guard down. You opened up to someone you enjoy spending time with. That’s a skill you should value. It’s natural for you to feel bad for his girlfriend, but that is his problem. He should (and probably does) feel guilty and confused.

However, keep your letter to me. Use it to remind yourself how these situations make you feel in the long run. Next time you find yourself in a weekend love affair ask yourself: is it worth it? I think the answer will be pretty clear.

Abby Spector is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she majored in Feminist/Gender/Sexuality Studies. She is currently interning for Tristan, a job that allows her to write about sex, research feminist porn, and play with dogs (among other, equally awesome things). When she isn’t working, Abby enjoys comfortable nudity and salty foods. Her dream? A world where she could sit around naked and eat overly-salted french fries. Her blog is Sexy Awkward Times.

Jun 052012

My guests on Sex Out Loud on Friday, June 8 at 5:00 pm Pacific time/8:00 pm Eastern time on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network are Susie Bright and her daughter Aretha Bright. We’ll talk about Susie’s memoir, Big Sex, Little Death, what it was like growing up with a sexpert Mom, how to talk to your kids about sex, and their new book, Mother/Daughter Sex Advice. Plus, I’ll put them to the test when I ask them to answer questions from listeners.

Susie Bright is the author more than a dozen books, including Full Exposure: Opening Up to Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression, How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica, and Mommy’s Little Girl: On Sex, Motherhood, Porn, & Cherry Pie. She is the editor of more than 25 anthologies, including The Best American Erotica series and the Herotica series.  Her memoir, Big Sex Little Death was recently released in paperback. She is the host and producer of Audible’s weekly podcast, In Bed With Susie Bright. Bright was co-founder and editor of On Our Backs magazine, and the first journalist to cover erotic cinema and the porn business in the mainstream press. A progenitor of the sex-positive movement, Bright taught the first university course on pornography, and brought lasting sexual influence to her role in films like Bound and The Celluloid Closet, as well as playing herself, “the feminist sex writer,” on Six Feet Under. She co-authored her latest book, Mother/Daughter Sex Advice, with her daughter Aretha Bright.

Aretha Bright’s debut book is Mother/Daughter Sex Advice. She is 21 and lives in San Francisco. She can’t boast the same credentials as her mom yet (She’s ready to fly down to Hollywood at a moment’s notice!) but is busy as a new author, pysch graduate from San Francisco State University, and working gal. Aretha is interested in travel, sex, books, holidays, and pizza, among other things. You can follow Aretha on her blog.