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Getting Married When We (May) Want Different Things from Sex

greentea23 asks:

I am 23 and I am getting married this fall. I have never had sex before because I have been waiting for marriage. My fiance is not a virgin. We have different views on the purpose of sex. His goals are intimacy and pleasure. I have a lifelong history of feeling guilty about any kind of physical pleasure and therefore trying to avoid it altogether. I really do not care whether I ever have an orgasm. I actually do not know what I think the point of sex is. How can we start a sexual relationship when our goals for sex are so different?

Undoing Sexual Shame

Feeling ashamed about sex or sexuality? Here are some steps to help you get started on turning that around so you can learn to love, not revile, your sexual self.

Parental Controls

Noodle asks:

I have been in a monogamous relationship with someone my age for two years. We have been sexually active for a year now. My parents are religious and conservative, and believe strongly that there is no place for sex outside of marriage and I shouldn't be committed to my boyfriend until I have graduated college, which I am attending now. I have a very close relationship with my parents and didn't want to have to keep up a facade of chastity, so I told my mom that my boyfriend and I have been having sex. She was very upset and it launched a 3 month ordeal of restructuring boundaries for my boyfriend and I and reestablishing trust with me. My parents insist they still like my boyfriend as a person, but they no longer want us to have anything to do with one another. My boyfriend and I go to different schools and are apart for months at a time. We were originally planning to visit one another, but my mother says that if he visits it will permanently damage their relationship with him and my relationship with them. Over winter break, we were not allowed to ride in the same car together unless there was an adult chaperoning us, and my parents made sure we spent just as much time with them as with his family. It was horrible, and my mental health really suffered. I want to be able to go back to having a free, adult relationship with my boyfriend, but I also want my parents to approve of him again. I am dreading going home, but I really want to be able to see my love again. Any advice would be very welcome.

He Doesn't Want Sex Anymore. I Do. Now What?

chubbychickpea asks:

My partner and I have been dating for over a year now and have just begun to hit some rough patches. We used to have a lot of (what I thought was) really great sex. Then one day he told me that all that sex had been only mediocre for him. I was mortified and also ashamed because it felt like maybe he had never really want to have sex with me, he was just doing it because he knew I wanted to. Recently, he says that he might be asexual, but he isn't sure. He's trans and in the middle of transitioning, so he says his body is changing. He says masturbation "works wonders" for him, and he feels no sexual desire for me whatsoever. I've researched a/sexual relationships - the options are 1) me learning to like masturbation - I do, but it's not enough for me 2) him compromising to have sex, which reeks of non-consent and grosses me out 3) an open relationship, which isn't an option for either of us. I'm sexual. I want to feel sexy and desired and to have sex and everything that goes along with it. But if he isn't, what am I supposed to do? Right now the solution feels like I should just repress my libido so I won't need to have sex any more, but I don't even know if that's possible. I'm at an age where I'm being told left and right to assert myself as a woman, as a sexual person, as a queer person - but it seems like all of that's stopping now. If I'm not a sexual woman any more, I don't even know if I can consider myself a woman. That's right, this is potentially gender identity rocking for me. Please give me any and all advice. I'd appreciate it. - Sad, Confused, Terrified.

First, But Not Last: On Finding, Navigating, and Losing First Loves

In the throes of first love? Did your first love just break up with you, or are you terrified they will? This is your article. Whatever your circumstances with your first love, let's process some of this stuff together.

Anxiety Lies.

The same disorder that makes me feel so insecure, tense, vulnerable and outright petrified, also convinces me that it’s protecting me from harm. The disorder that terrorizes me persuades me to keep it active, as a security system, even though it is anything but.

Left Foot, Red, Right Hand, Green: The Deal on Sex Positions

What positions are there for sex? How do you do them? Which is the best one? And why does everyone seem to think positioning is so complicated when it's really not?

Big love, but an equally big sexual disconnect

Dan10 asks:

I'm 20 and I've been talking to this girl for a couple months and she's amazing. When I'm with her all of my pain and suffering that I go through daily is gone. She takes it away with a little smile. She says I'm everything she wants in a guy and I make her happy except when we start becoming intimate. She says the sexual attraction isn't there, and I can't get her to reach an orgasm with my penis. It's normal sized but she says she wishes it was bigger. We had sex 3 weeks after we met and she says if we would have waited until she had deeper feelings for me, it wouldn't matter. I've never had a girl make me feel likes she does. I'm not some dumb young guy, I have a house and a car and a job but all I want is her. But I don't know what to do from here. I can't hit her spot, and I've tried putting her legs on my shoulder. What should I do?

Your Right to Be Lousy in Bed (After All, No One Has to Have Sex with You)

You were so tired you literally fell asleep in the middle of sex, leaving your partner all, "Umm? Hello?" You tried to do something sexual you thought was super-sexy but the other person thought was weird, silly or downright gross. You were pretty sure you were rubbing someone's clitoris until they mentioned, and only afterward, that you were nowhere near when you thought you were right on target. Something one partner of yours thought was the hottest thing ever turned out to be something that, when you tried it with another person, bored the pants not even off of them, but right back onto them. Your biggest turn-on is someone else's buzzkill. Your idea of what your own sexy is doesn't match up to someone else's. Your earnest sexuality right now is someone else's tired sexual cliche, or a phase in their own sexuality they're now past.

In any of these situations or many others like them, you might feel like you were bad in bed or someone else might think that about you. Despite how cru


How to Handle a Libido That Switched from Low to High

Gwynhafra asks:

I'm a 24-year-old woman who's never had any kind of partnered sex or been in a relationship. Until very recently, my libido was like a quiet walk in a very dull park. I had to make a serious effort to become sexually aroused, and was attracted mostly to men, but not very many men. I would masturbate maybe five or six times a month, and never orgasm. Intellectually I knew there was nothing wrong with that, but I felt freakish and insufficiently sexual.

I recently learned how to give myself an orgasm, though, and now I get incredibly turned on sometimes when I'm not even thinking about sex. I've gone from quiet walk in the park to stuck on a runaway train. It's distracting, embarrassing, and physically exhausting. When given the chance I will masturbate about fifteen times a day. On top of all that I've started noticing women as sexually attractive, and more men as attractive than I did before. This all happened within the space of three days. I know sexuality can be fluid but I kind of assumed the changes were gradual.

Why am I suddenly insatiable? I'm worried that either this will continue and I'll spend my days in perpetual need of a cold shower, or I'll go right back to being mostly desireless.

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