Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Girls, get in the mood for sex

YOUR man is sprawled on the sofa looking tasty without his top on.
What do you do? Pounce?
Nope, a new survey says two in five of you read a book while a fifth would rather watch TV.
Only a teeny eight per cent of you decide to grab your fella for frisky fun before bedtime, according to the poll on homes website mydeco.com.
The problem, says behavioural psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, is we’re not creating an environment conducive to passion.
What we need is a sexy boudoir, new nighttime sex rules and a change in our animal behaviour.
Maths boffins have even worked out a formula for the perfect boudoir.
Perfect bedroom = ((2(P+S)+3(T+A+E) + 2)/2)+((3(CL+BS)+4(PF+C+BT)–12)/2)
Luckily Linda is here to explain it in layman’s terms ...

“What came across loud and clear in the study was how people rate their sex life, and about half were really unhappy with it,” says Linda.
“We found people are so busy with work and kids that they’re tired a lot of the time, and their lives become one big to-do list. We don’t see sex as important anymore.

“But things don’t fall in your lap in life - you need to work at it. You can’t just expect sex to happen.

Expert ... Dr Linda Papadopoulos
“One problem is not many people are making an effort with their bedrooms,” says Linda, “TV interior design shows made it look a lot easier than it was to decorate.”
“So we got together with a mathematician and an architect and looked at all those things that matter to sex, like the way things feel, smell and look in your bedroom.
“Colours that are related to passion work best, like sexy red. Silk sheets, waterbeds and lacy camisoles also create the ideal sensual atmosphere. “Changing your bedroom for sex sends a clear message to your partner that you do care about sex and are in the mood for it.
“It also gives you a psychological boost. You feel that because you’ve worked at this, your sex life will improve.”

Dr Linda's top tips for getting in the mood for sex

1) Sex up your bedroom now and then, rather than every day. You don’t need to make big changes - something as simple as putting a dimmer on the light and changing what you wear to bed does the trick.
2) Show an interest in your partner. Ask how things are going for him and ask what his passions and worries are. Do that in the evening and you’re more likely to have the emotional intimacy that leads to physical intimacy.
3) Keep your bedroom just for sex and sleep. So remove work, your computer, and the TV from your room - whatever’s keeping you from having sex.
4) Take some time off and focus on yourself by having a long bath or doing something you enjoy. It often puts people in the mood because it boosts self-esteem, helping you connect with your man and feel sensual.
5) Make room for your partner in the bedroom. A lot of women’s rooms are very floral and pink and you think where’s the room for the guy here? It needs to feel like the room belongs to you both.
6) Don’t eat right before going to bed – it won’t put you in the right mood. Likewise, if you go to bed very late, you’ll probably spend more time thinking about how much sleep you’re losing than nookie.
7) Don’t freak him out with the decor. No one wants a photo of their mother-in-law staring at them while they’re having sex. And get rid of childhood fluffy toys – funnily enough, men don’t find them very sexy.
8) My best tip is simply to connect with each other. Go out for dinner, listen to ‘your’ song, or just look at old photos together.

Thinking of a threesome?

A three-in-a-bed session can sound like a lot of harmless fun but I know this issue causes a great deal of unhappiness and conflict between many couples.
The most common situation I hear about from readers seems to be that it's the man who first

raises the idea of the couple taking another man or woman into their bed.
He finds thinking about it very arousing - it's almost like an extension of reading a sexy magazine or watching a video, a sexual fantasy. He may have been finding his ordinary married or regular sex life a bit dull, so goes on and on at his partner not to be prudish.
She may or may not agree to give it a try but if you are caught in this dilemma, whatever stage you have reached in this, let me suggest you stop right now.
Perhaps there are a few couples who happily manage three-in-a-bed sessions on a regular basis and never let it affect a close and loving relationship, but they are so rare I have never come across them. Yet week after week I hear from couples who have experimented and been made very miserable.
The trouble is that real people don't behave like the fantasies and usually have very muddled feelings.
A husband who has pushed his wife into making love with another man may then reproach her for being unfaithful to him – “You should have kept saying no,” he moans.
He may say he now feels he can never trust her again and leave - what a way to discover that what was arousing him wasn't really the idea of "swinging" but old-fashioned sexual jealousy.
Or the woman may decide she's fallen in love with the other man. We all have some problems in long-term relationships. It's all too easy to fall for the idea that someone you're sharing different and exciting sex with would actually be a better life partner, is a lovelier person.
Sometimes it's true. More often they're just a different person - and it's always worth wondering what sort of person they really are to get dragged into all this in the first place.
If it's another woman you've invited into your bed, then all the same problems can arise the other way round. A wife may find she's tormented by images of her husband with the other woman in their bed.
She may have agreed to go along with the idea of a three-in-a-bed session, may have thought it sounded like fun, but afterwards discovers it's ruined the happy sex life she and her husband used to share. That can place a terrible strain on their relationship even if he never sees the other woman again.
Even worse, a wife may find she's been sidelined and her husband is clearly keener to make love to the other woman than to her. She may worry - and perhaps have good reason to worry - that they are having an affair.
Long-term relationships always have their niggles and shared responsibilities. A different partner can make you feel better not because they are a better lover or person, but just because they aren't directly connected with your day-to-day life. It's escapism but, unfortunately, someone always winds up hurt.
Threesomes can also play up doubts about sexuality. If one of you is keen to have someone else of the same sex in your bed, is it just to thrill your partner, or is it that you are more gay than you've perhaps admitted or even realized?
If that could be an issue, then my special free leaflet Gay worries? would help you sort out your feelings, but what more commonly lies behind people's urge to try a three-in-a-bed session is difficulty in giving themselves over to real intimacy. They don't really surrender themselves to experience the depth of emotions and passion that can be aroused and satisfied by quite conventional love-making.
This will often be linked with difficulty in sharing open affection in day-to-day life too. If you can learn to trust your partner with your deepest feelings, then your love-making can be so rich that you feel no need to involve others to spice it up. That can be far more satisfying, as well as safer.
Making such a change will usually involve shifts in a couple's whole relationship - and is best attempted with the help of a counselors such as through Relate (0300 100 1234, www.relate.org.uk or see your local phone book).
Other reasons for feeling tempted by three-in-a-bed can be that you have a sexual problem which needs sorting out - difficulty in reaching orgasm or maintaining an erection, for example. If so, please let me know and I can send you details of self-help and expert sex therapy.
It could be there is some tension in your relationship which needs looking at. As I've said, our sex lives and our feelings are closely linked. Difficulties in our sexual relationship are very often symptoms of more general problems.
A woman who is always tired out because she shoulders most of the chores at home as well as having a paid job, for example, will lose interest in sex. A man who is overwhelmed with worries about holding on to his job may well find his sex drive crashes.
You may be able to sort these out by talking between you - perhaps taking some time out, such as a weekend away from the home and kids. If you get stuck, Relate counselors are trained to help you work through just such difficult issues (contact details as above).
If you’d like any further help such as my leaflet of 50 tips to brighten your sex life, do let me know.

Understanding the G Spot

THE G Spot goes in and out of fashion with sex experts.
It’s called G Spot after a German gynecologists in the 1950s and is back in fashion as a talking point now, though I sometimes wonder whether it’s partly because it feels more comfortable, especially for men, to talk about the G Spot rather than the clitoris, which actually is far more important for most women to find sexual pleasure and satisfaction.

The clitoris, as you probably know, is the little mound of ultra-sensitive tissue which lies just in front of a woman’s vagina. In terms of responsiveness, it’s the female equivalent of the penis, but is actually far more sensitive. It usually needs only gentle touching, and perhaps massaging with the flat of the hand, to help a woman feel aroused.
Most women find that it’s stimulation of the clitoris which leads to orgasm for them. The clitoris can be indirectly stimulated during intercourse, but more women reach orgasm through stimulation other than intercourse. It’s important to be clear about this because so many couples feel like failures because the woman finds that intercourse doesn’t do the trick for her.

This is all very relevant to the G Spot because the G Spot is really the underside or root of the clitoris and its nerves, which can be stimulated from inside the vagina, though women vary far more in their response to this type of stimulation than they do in their clitoral responses.

Some women feel it’s the greatest turn-on ever, some hate it, some feel it’s a pleasurable variation, others find it irritating.
If you want to experiment, it’s important to do it with an open mind. There are no rights and wrongs. What matters is for both partners to feel free to experiment and give feedback on what feels good to them.
Because the G Spot can be so sensitive and its effects unpredictable, it’s often a good idea for the woman to explore for herself first and then later share the knowledge with her partner.
To find the G Spot you have to understand a bit of sexual anatomy. A woman’s urethra, which carries urine, runs above the vagina and more or less parallel with it, from her bladder to the urethral opening, which lies between her vaginal opening and her clitoris.
The urethra is surrounded by spongy tissue, call the urethral sponge, which is engorged with blood and special fluids when the woman is sexually aroused. This spongy tissue in turn links up with the roots of the clitoris which run deep inside the body – the little glans you see is just the tip of the iceberg, as it were – or should that be hotberg?
If you insert a finger or two in the vagina and feel up inside the front wall, under the pubic bone, the G Spot lies one-third to halfway up. It generally responds to firmer, steadier pressure than the clitoris, since you have the cushioning tissues of the urethral sponge – but it’s usually best to aim slightly to one side or the other, rather than press on the urethra itself, which could be uncomfortable.
Fingers are usually going to be more effective than a penis, by the way, and you’re more likely to find the G Spot if the woman is already well aroused. There is a special sex toy designed to help – the Rock-Chick - which stimulates the clitoris and the G Spot simultaneously. See www.rock-chick.com for details.
There is also a new medical procedure called G-Spot augmentation which involves injecting “filler” into the G Spot in order to increase responsiveness. It is available privately in this country but it costs nearly £1,000 and it has to be repeated every four to six months.
Like all surgery there are risks, and this is a part of the body few of us want to take chances with. Lots of women have a less sensitive G-Spot anyway and augmentation would make no difference.
To me, all that adds up to lots of reasons to work on your sexual technique, not pay a high price for someone repeatedly to stick a needle into a sensitive part of the body.
Most women are more responsive to clitoral stimulation and need clitoral stimulation if they are to climax during intercourse. So-called vaginal orgasms are often more about making the man feel good when female orgasm should be about female satisfaction.
It’s up to personal taste – the woman’s personal taste. If she enjoys it, great. If she doesn’t, then her partner shouldn’t make her feel pressured because he wants to tick a new box in his sexual repertoire.
What often intrigues people about the G Spot is that it’s said to be linked with female ejaculation – women producing fluid on climax just as men do.
It’s still controversial but some women do seem to ejaculate a fluid that isn’t just lubrication nor urine. It could be that it is fluid from the glands in the urethral sponge. Some women say this is normal for them, some experts insist it’s impossible. It doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that a woman and her partner feel OK with whatever is her experience, and she enjoys her own responses. She shouldn’t feel a failure because she doesn’t ejaculate, nor feel a freak because she does. If it is a regular occurrence, though, it makes sense to put down a towel or even waterproof sheet before having sex.
I hope this has helped. My main message is not to get hung up about the G Spot but enjoy one another and talk to one another. Don’t feel any pressure to fit into a mould but find what suits the two of you.

If you would like any further personal advice, or my free leaflets on the G Spot or Orgasm for Women, do let me know.

Tension over oral sex?

Sex surveys often show that huge numbers of men and women find oral sex more pleasurable and exciting than intercourse, yet the issue causes tensions in lots of relationships.

The two most common problems I hear about are that the man wants oral sex and his partner won’t hear of it, or that the man is only too happy for his partner to perform oral sex on him but

she is unhappy because he won’t return the compliment.

If you have a partner who finds the idea of oral sex very distasteful, try not to see it as an important rejection of you. That can lead to you nagging on and on about it. Try to see it as a simple and not very important issue in your relationship.
All your partner is saying is that they do not fancy this one particular type of sexual contact. That has no bearing at all on how much they love you.
No-one can enjoy sex they feel pressured into and you are looking for trouble if you set this up as a test of their love for you, saying in effect, “If you love me you will do this for me.”
If you love them surely you wouldn’t want to force them to do something they genuinely find distasteful?
If your relationship in general is sound, you can find other pleasures you can both share. If you can’t, then it is your whole relationship which you need help over, not just oral sex.
Another point to check out very carefully with yourself is whether you are looking to your partner to have sexual confidence and freedom from inhibitions you don’t have yourself.
There can be no double standards here. If you want to receive oral sex you should be happy to give it. If not, then you are harbouring unacknowledged sexual guilt which will be transmitting itself to your partner as a very mixed message about just how OK you really think oral sex is.
What really matters here is that the two of you feel comfortable enough together to be able to talk about what feels best and what you would like to try. If you haven’t got that sort of relationship, then arguments about oral sex are probably just a side issue in far wider ranging problems.
You can create a very tense situation if you have got many of your ideas about what sex ought to be like from pornography on the internet and in magazines and videos. If your partner is anxious about oral sex but willing to give it a try, the important thing is to start by keeping it simple and gentle. No deep-throat techniques needed!
Never feel that there is some goal you’ve got to reach. Some men and women will climax this way, some won’t. There’s no right or wrong about it. Some women love their man climaxing in their mouth, others loathe it. Share what you can both enjoy.
Your partner may worry oral sex is “dirty” but the body is wonderfully designed, and as long as we follow a few basic rules, any “dirtiness” is only in our mind.
All men or women need to do to be clean and fresh – smelling and tasting – is to wash all over once a day with mild soap and rinse off with plenty of water.
Of course, you must include the sexual area and make sure you have washed in all the nooks and crannies. Uncircumcised men should roll back the foreskin, and wash and rinse off underneath.
That’s enough for general hygiene but, if you are about to make love and think that oral sex may play a part in your love-making, then it’s sensible to have another quick rinse of the sexy bits just beforehand, if possible, so you can have the confidence of knowing you’re quite fresh.
Oral sex is safer if you use a dental dam, a thin latex square covering the vital area but you must avoid oral sex if there is any risk of sexual infections, of herpes (of the genitals or cold sores on the mouth), of HPV (genital warts) or of being HIV positive.
If that’s the case, you shouldn’t have sexual contact without getting expert treatment and advice. The best place is probably your local enitor-urinary or special clinic, which will be attached to a local hospital. You don’t need a referral and will be treated in strict confidence – even your GP won’t be told.
If you can’t resolve arguments about oral sex don’t feel that this means everything is hopeless. There is help available these days which can enable couples completely to transform their sex life, indeed their whole relationship, if they are both willing to give it a try.
You can contact your local branch of Relate (0845 456 1310, www.relate.org.uk) or you can write to me explaining what’s bothering you. You might also like my free Guide to Oral Sex which explains effective techniques.

Why does my man refuse sex?

I’ve tried sexy undies, tantrums and even just talking to get my boyfriend interested in sex but nothing works. I’m lucky if I get it once a fortnight.
He’s 25. I am 36 and not gorgeous, but as we’ve been together for six years there must be something he loves about me. I just wish he’d show it.
The only affection he shows is to kiss me goodbye or to make love after he’s finished watching TV and with the lights out. And that’s only been once in the last three weeks.

He says he’s not bored with me but I am getting so fed up with no love or affection, and frustrated with no sex. When we’ve been apart for a few days, you’d think he’d jump on me if he wanted me that much, but no.
If I say anything he thinks I’m nagging. I’ve even accused him of seeing someone else for sex but he denies it and says he wants me. I don’t know what to do.
DEIDRE SAYS: Tell your boyfriend that you don’t feel loved and wanted, so you two must talk more about what’s affecting his sex drive. Has he got some deepdown worry? Does sex not feel so exciting to him now you’ve been together for a few years?
Stop assuming his loss of sex drive means there is something wrong with you and take the initiative to boost his libido. Start giving him a massage as he watches TV, gradually stripping off his clothes. Look for ways to make sex feel different and exciting.

School sex is such a thrill

I’VE been having bareback sex with my best friend behind the school science block whenever we get the chance.
We’re both 15 and we’ve been going together for three weeks. We’ve known each other for years and are best friends but we got together recently after a mate’s house-party.
It was the first time for me but my boyfriend has been with two other girls. He’s lovely-looking and he treats me so right. I can’t get enough of him

We meet up when we get off the bus in the morning and while our mates are having breakfast, we go for a quickie or have oral round the back of the school and then do the same at lunchtime. I’m scared I might get caught but I think that’s half the thrill.
We’re constantly snogging when we’re not having sex and we really love one another. My only worry is that something might go wrong between us and then we might stop being friends. We have always been so close.
DEIDRE SAYS: I’m afraid this is all too likely to end in tears for lots of reasons.
You are both legally under-age to have sex and the law is there for the good reason that you’re unlikely to be mature enough to make good decisions about sex until you’re nearer 20 than 12.

And you are making some dodgy decisions at the moment. Bareback sex is sex without protection, so you run the risk of an unwanted

pregnancy. With or without protection, if you were caught on school premises it would mean you could be suspended or even expelled. Your parents would probably be very distressed.
You’ve known this guy a long time but he’s not been your boyfriend for long and you jumped into bed with him on your first date. My free leaflet Learning About Relationships will show you how important it is to get the relationship right before you move things up to a sexual level.
I hope this works out for you in the long run but wait to have sex again certainly until you’re both 16. Then you are more likely to be sure a relationship is really what you want without losing your friendship.
Even then, play it safe and resist the temptation to have sex during school time. Be mature and save your passion until you’re in private and when you do, make sure you’re using effective protection.

My sick boss demands sex

My boss keeps trying to get me to have sex with him. I’m worried he’ll find a reason to sack me unless I give in.

I am 19 and it’s taken me over a year to land myself a new job after being made redundant. I was over the moon that at last I could get back into work and start saving up so me and my boyfriend can move in together eventually.
I love my job, and my boss is really nice to everyone. He’s a good-looking guy and there are plenty of other girls working here who would be willing, but he’s singled me out for his attentions.
Every day he finds excuses to get me to go up to his office, or stay after the others have gone home so we can be on our own.
I love my boyfriend very much and I wouldn’t dream of being unfaithful. I’ve told my boss how I feel about my boyfriend and that we’ve been together for over two years. He just laughs and says I can do better.

It doesn’t really bother me that he chats me up. I can handle that, and I’ve no intention of giving into his wishes. I’ve made it clear I’m not going

to have sex with him, now or in the future. At first he seemed OK but over the past week or so he seems to be getting a bit annoyed when I refuse him.
What’s really worrying me now is whether he’ll find a reason to sack me unless I do what he wants. He’s said as much in the past.
I really can’t afford to lose this job. There aren’t many around where I live, and it would be so unfair as I know I do my work really well.
DEIDRE SAYS: Your boss may be feeling irritated now he’s realising you really mean no but, if you stay calm and clear, he'll probably soon give up his pestering.
Flattering though it is, don’t let him even get to the point of flirting. Say firmly, “I believe in keeping personal and business relationships separate.” Just be careful to do your work as well as you can so he’s no excuse to pick on you.
However, if you get the feeling he really is going to turn ugly, don’t wait until you’re in crisis. The law protects you against such bully tactics. Get advice on your rights from Equality and Human Rights Commission

Ex-wife taking me for a ride

When my wife told me she was pregnant, I knew it couldn’t be mine as I’d had a vasectomy – yet now we’ve split up I’m having to pay maintenance.
I’m 34 and was married for four years to a woman I loved and I thought loved me. A year into our marriage she started a new job and within weeks was having an affair with a colleague.

When I found out, she said with a flood of tears that it was over and she loved me. I believed her but a few weeks later she told me she was pregnant. I knew it could not be mine as I have had a vasectomy. Once again the floodgates opened and I forgave her.
She had a son, who is a smashing kid, but our marriage was never right again. There was something missing, perhaps some resentment on my part, and comments about how he didn’t look like me always hurt.
After a couple of years we were divorced. I did manage to keep the house, which was mine before the marriage, but I had to pay my wife a third of the value as settlement.

To top it all, although I’ve told the court I am not the biological father, I still have to pay maintenance for him. Now my ex-wife has moved out of the area, and changed her son’s name, yet as far as the courts are concerned I still have to pay. I am starting a new job in the New Year. It is a chance to have a fresh start doing something I have always wanted to do.

I want to get my life in order, so is there anything I can do about feeling I have been taken for a ride?
I’m having to pay maintenance for a child who isn’t mine, doesn’t have my name and whom I don’t see.
DEIDRE SAYS: I can understand how unjust this feels for you but let’s start with the feelings of your “smashing” little boy, who presumably has your name on his birth certificate as father.

Do you really want to cut him out of your life for ever? None of this is his fault. Are you sure you’re not taking out on him your anger with your ex-wife?

If you’re convinced you want nothing more to do with him, then you can appeal against the maintenance order and demand DNA tests. Even though you are the registered father, if tests show you’re not his biological dad, you can’t be held legally responsible for paying his child maintenance.