Archive for the ‘Sex’ Category

When Is Rough Too Rough?

In Health and Body, Sex on February 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Lady Gaga says Papparazzi = Too Rough. MTV Video Music Awards.

Dear Yenta,

When is rough sex too rough?


Dear C,

It seems that the modus aperendum for my readership this week is pain in the bedroom. I recently attended a film series here in Provincetown at the art museum. We watched the horrifying and enlightening: “Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist.” This film will illustrate how unbelievably far rough can really go, without being too rough.

What did I learn from watching a man put nails through his shaft, allowing his partner to whip slice and punch him? That which I perceive as violence might be another man’s medicine. In other words, the limits of roughness have to do with consent, delight, communication and pleasure based on individual need, preference and limitation.

If you find your roughness is causing profuse blood-letting, step back and question, “Does my partner like bleeding a lot? Is this fun for them, as fun as it is for me?”

As seen in “Doing it Rough, Safe” and “He Ignores My Safe Word,” there is a complex art of setting a sexual code so that rough behavior doesn’t do actual damage.

The only finite sex rule I would spread throughout the land is to be sure you have a sense of the existence, desires and sensibilities of your sexual partner. Whomever or whatever you choose to be rough with, make sure you know well enough the difference between a cry for help and a cry of intense ecstasy. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communicate before you do it, while you do it, after you do it.

Rough sex is too rough when someone stops enjoying themselves, feels silenced, goes to the emergency room, dies – either physically, mentally or spiritually, and so forth. Rough sex is too rough when you didn’t check to see if it was ok to slap their ass, didn’t check to see if they like being tied up, didn’t check to see if they like it when you ram them so hard they lose a kidney.

I am just a mostly vanilla Yenta. For advanced assistance, check out, BDSM Sex Educator and Author Lolita Wolf’s website.

For help on both ends, try The New Bottoming Book or The New Topping Book, both by respected authors Janet W. Harding and Dossie Easton. Also, at your own risk, try porn star Penny Flame’s Expert Guide to Rough Sex.

The line is fine, but easily walked with a bit of sensitivity and an open heart. There is an art to rough behavior, often tinged by intention. If sex is heartless and violent, cruel, abusive and lacks any form of humanistic sensitivity, step back and re-evaluate all sexual heroes.

Merissa Nathan Gerson | Create Your Badge

He Ignores My Safe Word

In Health and Body, Mental Health, Sex on February 22, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Dear Yenta,

If you really love your husband but he’s into S & M and it hurts (or you don’t enjoy it, especially since he doesn’t listen when you use your safe word) how to you address the issue sensitively?


S. Monarch, Newport, RI

An effort towards ending sexual violence, the kind that isn't fun.

Dear S,

Again, in the old adage of Take Back the Night marching chants, “Yes means yes, no means no, however we dress, wherever we go.” That “No” includes safe words.

For those unaware, lets define these terms. (Also, see “Doing it Rough, Safe”) defines S & M as:
“Sadomasochism. When sexual gratification is received by inflicting and/or enduring painful activities, this does not have to be exclusively during intercourse. Whips and chains are often considered S&M paraphernalia, as well as bondage collars, spiked jewelry, etc. May also stand for slave and master.”

In layman’s terms, S & M is rough CONSENSUAL sex that may involve role-playing, dominance, pain etc.

A “safe word” is another word for no. This is so that you can yell “No!” and be faux violated, whereas the safe word, agreed upon by both the dominant and the submissive, really means “desist.” The safe word is the emergency exit in a rough game, a way for the submissive party to assert their voice when the pain is no longer pleasurable.

For S & M to be healthy, this word must be respected. If your husband is ignoring you when you use a code word for no it means one of two things. A) You two did not carefully discuss and establish this word, its implications, and how and when and why it would be used before engaging in your sexual practice. Or B) Your husband is ignoring you when you say “no” and continuing to play rough, which at this point crosses the line from consensual BDSM to plain old abuse/rape.

Consent is the compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another. When intercourse is performed without consent, i.e., forcibly continuing to roughly screw your wife while ignoring her repeated attempt to say no, this is rape. So? So I only say this to name the beast and reiterate that it is not ok for anyone to physically push someone, especially when play violence is involved, beyond their stated verbal and/or physical limit. Assuming you set your safe word up together, you set a clear boundary for your husband and he actively violated it.

Where do we go from here? If you love dressing like a sea monkey and he enjoys dressing like a merman, so be it. But what if he loves whipping women and you love being softly caressed by the light of the moon? Here, we come to a sexual crossroads.

Again, the number one key to a healthy sex life is communication. Only you know if your husband is violently abusing you, or if you forgot somewhere along the lines to properly communicate the meaning of your safe word.

In general, S & M practices often require a contract, a conversation, a ground rules session before practice. Maybe go together to a BDSM introduction, like this one, to better understand how to play the game. Re-establish your Sadomasochist law and be sure your husband knows what pleasure does looks like to you. Or, try reading The Loving Dominant, which should help you find a way to make S & M safe and loving for you.

My inclination, though, is to say this man is bad news, whether you love him or not. I am not a fan of marital rape, no ma’am, not whatsoever. You might need to call into a hotline like RAINN 1-800-656-HOPE just to discuss this more, just to clarify what is happening in your bedroom. Also, sex therapy is a great option for a married couple with disparate sexual tastes.

Just be sure to look out for number one. If his pleasure implies your demise, and demolition is not your thing, than take a step back and be sure this is a bed you want to be lying in. As we said on our late night anti-rape marches, “No means no, it doesn’t mean maybe.”

Can’t Stop Fantasizing While With Man

In Dating, Mental Health, Sex on February 19, 2010 at 12:52 am

Dan rubbed her feet, but Fabio was Roseanne's leading man.

Dear Yenta,

I’m living with a boyfriend but can’t stop thinking about another man. How do I stop thinking about the other man? This would be especially helpful during sex.

-Wandering Eye

Dear WE,

There was an episode of the L-Word that debated whether fantasizing is cheating. According to their rubrix, one said acting on fantasy is cheating, but doing it isn’t, while the other said when you start wanting something besides that which you have, it is time to go because you are cheating.

If you are wishing for someone else, it means you aren’t able to be present with the dude in front of you. This psychological exit means something, and it is up to you to determine why it is you can’t mentally remain in the room in the arms of your man.

What is driving your fantasy? Desiring another while being with a committed lover can mean a million things. It can mean you don’t like your homeslice anymore, or that you feel trapped and suffocated and this fantasy is a way of exiting and expressing, quietly, your freedom. Maybe he is terrible in bed and you can’t stand it.

You could be totally in love and totally scared and this fantasy is a lifeline to life beyond, keeping you grounded. Or, still, you could be curious and lusting for more, maybe even for an open relationship. (See PiggyBack Dating)

Only you know if you love one, and not the other, if your relationship is dead, if you need to be testing the waters right now. Roseanne loved her husband Dan, but she always fantasized about Fabio when sleeping with him. Dan had Fabio’s head and that’s how she did it. It didn’t, however, mean she was set to leave her husband: she loved him.

But you aren’t Roseanne, and this isn’t the L-Word, and fantasizing about someone else besides the one you are with might be a very simple sign that it is time to move on. It means that something is fishy, and needs to be scoped out. The way to make it stop is to determine what is missing and then remedy the situation so you can be present, enjoying the lover you actually have. Or, go live your fantasy.

Is Cheating Wrong If the Partner Knows?

In Dating, Drama, Marriage, Sex on February 12, 2010 at 2:36 am

Infidelity yields all kinds of results. See Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven for one scenario.

Dear Yenta,

I am a man having an affair with a married man whose spouse knows about us and looks the other way. Is it still morally wrong?


Dear C,

That’s a tricky one. It comes down to a number of things, mostly between the married man and his wife/husband. There are such things as open marriages, where the couple, despite their commitment to one another for life, choose to open their beds to others (see PiggyBack Dating for more). If this is the case, continue to ride the bull guilt-free.

But let’s play with some other scenarios, shall we? Let’s say this man you are sleeping with is married to a woman and the woman is not into open relationships. Ok. She catches her husband, whom she thought loved women such as herself, sleeping with male you. That blows on so many levels that she might rather go on pretending. In this case, it is definitely morally wrong.

I met a couple once, a man and a woman, who found each other at a support group. It was a group for people whose spouses left them for same-sex lovers. Ie, both this man and woman’s respective wife and husband went gay, they fell apart, and then found each other at my-wife/husband-left-me-for-homosexuality-anonymous.

Another time I met a man who was sleeping with men and cheating on his wife. They tried to make it work for 6 years until things fell apart. When they divorced he became very gay and very happily ever after. You never know what the deal is with a couple, if they are meant to be together, or if you are a bump on their road to moving on to stage 76587 of their existence. Regardless, it is messy to be tooting a married man’s horn.

Another option, you are sleeping with a man married to a man who is cheating on his husband. Forget the gay factor, infidelity SUCKS. People who don’t tell and accept the situation might be in a loveless business transaction marriage, or might be too terrified of losing their spouse, or maybe don’t care one way or the other. Either way, I am inclined to say that yes, no matter what the situation, it is always morally wrong to break a vow.

So, you know if you are involved in vow-breaking based on what you know of the scenario. Also, the onus falls on your lover, most of all. He is the one with a commitment that he is violating. You, on the other hand, are simply an enabler.

Moral of the story: check the waters before you jump. If you are already swimming with the sharks of infidelity, then ask one, “Sharky, are you married with benefits? Is your wife a repressed woman denying your homosexuality? Is your husband getting his heart broken?” Find out exactly what you are dealing with and then judge yourself accordingly. Generally, even if a marriage is already dead, an affair helps to put that fire out. I like building marriage fires for long slow lifelong warmth, so try not to mess with the flames.

It also boils down to you: why are you choosing married men for lovers in the first place? A question for you, yourself and you.

Dog Licks Face During Sex

In Sex on February 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Dear Yenta,

Can you train your dog to stop licking your face when you are having sex with your boyfriend?


She's a sexy poodle, but does she belong in your bedroom?

Dear S,

Hmmm…I imagine so. Is it polite to have sex in front of your dog? This is the real question I have. If dogs are as loyal as Mickey Rourke says, then shouldn’t doing your man in front of a puppy be like doing your man in front of your sister/brother/son/daughter/best friend? Isn’t this rude? Or is it a threesome? I know a dog is an animal, especially clear to those of you who enjoy domesticating them, but don’t forget the living breathing feeling being inside that body.

Who am I, though? A Yenta without a pet. For all I know dogs LOVE watching their “owners” have sex in front of them. So, if you don’t opt to close the door and leave your dog out of your sexual forays, then this is probably like anything else you train your dog to do. Just remember what you did to train your pup to sit, roll over, fetch, pee outside – it shouldn’t be too much different.

Or, as one woman suggests, “Try putting bacon between your toes.” That’s a solid use of traif if I have ever heard of one.

Truckboy Was Crooked

In Dating, Drama, Mental Health, Roommates, Sex on February 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Ok! For this one, I deliver first the answer, and then the question.

Answer: Education always comes first and is never selfish. No matter how crooked, long, wide, or weeny your boyfriend’s penis, your education STILL comes first. Let go of any man who abandons you repeatedly, causes extreme and regular crying, and shows little to no signs that he loves you. Be wary of using sex with men like drugs, they will not lead you to personal truth.

To you, my confused young friend, I advise a career in fiction writing and a potential year of celibacy.

An Escalade might be huge, but it won't get you a job or intellectual satisfaction.


Dear Yenta,

For funnsies I’ll call everyone I’m speaking of by the car they drive

Explorer, my most recent boyfriend, and I started dating about two and a half years ago. At the time I was living in Santa Fe, and he in Albuquerque. After a few months of dating, we decided that I would transfer to UNM and move to ABQ. In January, after I’d moved down there to be closer to him he told me that he was planning to go away for the summer to Mexico and then he wanted to do an internship in Spain for the Fall semester. This absolutely freaked me out. I became very sick in February and Explorer was too busy to take care of me. I wasn’t able to leave the house for I could not stand or walk for 5 days. So one of my roommates friends, Honda, was there to take care of me. Later on Explorer told me that he was definitely going to Mexico for two months and he wasn’t sure that he was committed to the relationship. I decided that I didn’t have to be either.

Come Spring break, I dreamt that I was interested in exploring things with Honda. I sat with those feelings for Honda for another two months before I did anything about it. In May, towards the end of the semester I went to Honda’s apartment and we made out for a long time. The next day I broke up with Explorer. Honda and I saw each other for a couple weeks, and then we broke up too. A month later I got back together with Explorer for a couple weeks before he went on his Mexico trip. It was then obvious that he wasn’t going to Spain anymore. We agreed that it wasn’t appropriate to wait for each other. So we went on our ways. In three months I slept with four guys. I realized after being kinda slutty that I wanted to be in a relationship where the person treated me fairly and wanted a commitment again.

A month after Explorer returned from Mexico we started dating again. We both decided to let our little other fling things subside and we were back into a pretty serious relationship in a matter of weeks. He said to me that he was planning on going to grad school in about a year, at the time it was October. Nothing else seemed to matter, not even that our relationship was on a clock. He moved in with me after he finished his undergrad degree. He started working at a Diner. He was reading a lot, running, biking, and going on backpacking trips with his friends. Meanwhile, I’m doing lots of busy school work. We had the most incredible year together: massages, cooking, watching movies, doing yoga, hanging with friends, loving each other deeply, and bla bla bla.

So a friend of ours, Toyota, short, gay, latino, pretty silly, moved into the apartment next door. Toyota and I became closer very quickly and it probably had something to do with the fact that we’re both Scorpios and love to talk about sex. One day I was upset with Explorer for not wanting to have sex with me very often because he was jerking off too much. Explorer already had a pretty low libido and I over here am a well oiled machine that likes to get it at least every other day if not every day. So I complained to Toyota about this tragedy at the laundromat. I shared with him my many issues with the relationship: he drinks to much, looks at porn & J’s it almost everyday, expects me to bend over backwards; calls it “making plans together”, makes messes all the time, makes fun of me for things that are inappropriate (old men; food), he doesn’t like to talk about anything deep, unavailable to talk about emotional things, and doesn’t like to kiss during sex. However it wasn’t always this way, that’s the hardest thing. He was getting bored of me and it was driving me crazy.

In a nutshell, after sharing all these things with Toyota he tells me that Explorer shared with him that he was planning to move away. I was furious. First of all I knew nothing about it, and as I started talking to more of our friends about it, I realized that I was the ONLY one that didn’t know. I was so embarrassed. I forced him to tell me what was going on. He was planning to move to Lake Tahoe to be a ski instructor for the winter and then wanted to start grad school at the University of Reno in the Spring. I had told him that I wanted to negotiate a way that I could move with him. I offered setting up a National Student Exchange to a city that we could both go to. He didn’t want to, he just wanted to leave. The whole time before he left I was crying all the time, uncontrollably. Obviously, he left. He moved everything out of my apartment back to his parents house. He told me that he wanted me to come visit him during my winter break. I agreed. We agreed that we would try to work out a long distance relationship. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to wait for him for very much time. I knew that I was also too angry with him to wait.

The morning he left, December 7, I waddled my crying self to Toyota’s apartment. He was living there with three guys, one who’s name is Acura. I thought Acura was pretty hot and had thought so since he moved in. That day I also talked to Explorer’s mother. She said that she thought that Explorer was going to come back to me, however she knew that he needed to find whatever he was looking for. It was my finals week. I cried every day for 6-10 hours. My eyes were swollen and I made myself sick as a beast. I wasn’t able to get anything done, and I didn’t do very well on my exams. I was also extremely jealous. He was giving me the vibes that he was looking for someone else to hook up with during his first week there. He basically told me that he wasn’t looking for anyone but if they showed up he wouldn’t say no.

I went back to my old job in Santa Fe during winter break. I was working full time so it helped with all the pain I was enduring. I stayed with my mother in her bed when I stayed in SF. I love my mom, however it is hard to sleep with her, let alone the fact that I was so lonely and wanted my Explorer back.

After ten days I stopped crying as much. I spent a lot of time with Acura studying and eating. There was hints that he liked me. I kept talking to Toyota about it. It took a while and then Toyota finally admitted that Acura did indeed like me too. On New Year’s Eve, I went out to a party with Toyota and his other hotty for the night. Acura was spending time with his family. So at this party I ran into a guy that I’d had the hots for ever since I met Explorer, name: Truckboy. They were old roommates and running buddies. Bad I know. Truckboy and I danced all night, he kissed my neck, and at the end of the night we pecked each other, no tongue. He asked me to stay the night with him, I said no, he said it would be just cuddling, I still said no. Now Toyota was super angry about it because he felt that Truckboy crossed the friend’s ex-girlfriend rule thing.

The next day was New Year’s day. A bunch of the boys from next door and I went ice skating and then we went for late night tacos, and then we went home to watch a movie. Now, Toyota AND Acura invited me to stay the night. They all live in one bedroom, so privacy is shaky. We watched a movie. Toyota fell asleep. Acura and I went to the third base. He wanted to have sex but I said no. Let me mention that dick size is rather important to me, and Acura’s cock is a few notches bigger in the girth department than Explorers and it’s straighter. The next day Acura asked me where our thing was going. Now I had bought a ticket to visit Lake Tahoe for January 10th. I told Acura that I had to go to Tahoe to figure out what I was doing. I went to work that day and spent time with my mom and we discussed the details of the situation. I decided that I didn’t need to go to Tahoe and that it would be better to break up. It also bothered me that if I went to Tahoe that I would probably miss the opportunity for anything to come of Acura and I… even though I’m not looking for a relationship, I could settle for a casual sexual thingamajig, with communication and whatnot.

The next day, Jan 3, Explorer and I broke up. It was pretty mutual. He didn’t seem like he was completely committed to the relationship either. At the end of the conversation he said that he still wanted me to come to Tahoe. I thought he was crazy. It took me until Jan 6 to finalize that I wasn’t going to visit. When I made that decision I was very clear that we were breaking up. I was ready to let the whole thing go and move on with my life. On Jan 7 I spent the night with Acura and we went to the 3rd base again. I still felt that I wasn’t ready to have sex.

After that Acura got really busy and started ignoring me. Toyota told Explorer about Truckboy hitting on me. It wasn’t like Truckboy was completely responsible, I was very responsive… lol. I was in Santa Fe on Jan 12 and went for beers with Truckboy and his best friend Bobby. During beer drinkage, Explorer randomly called Bobby, and we immediately had to acknowledge the huge gorilla in the room. Bobby told Explorer that I was there not knowing that there had been any confrontation between Toyota and Explorer about Truckboy and I. We agreed on a believable alibi for hanging out and that night I went home with Truckboy. He and I also went to the third base. However, Truckboy’s penis size was a few notches smaller than Explorer’s, so I felt that I didn’t want to go there with Truckboy again.

I found out on Jan 14 that Explorer was pretty upset that Truckboy was hitting on me and thought that I was going to have sex with him. I didn’t want to be jealous about something that wasn’t something to be jealous over. So I had to confront him about it. Now Explorer is trying to get me to wait for him when he comes to visit in March. He hasn’t told me how long he’s going to be here for. He hasn’t decided if he’s going to move back for the summer, and he wants to go on a trip. He may also decide to go to grad school in Reno next Fall. He decided not to go to school this semester. So he has no reason to stay in Tahoe after the season ends. I see that no where in any of this that he’s thinking about me. He just wants me to wait for him until March, and then there’s no other commitment.

On Jan 15 I saw a friend that I’m attracted to. I’ll call him Cadillac. He’s not connected to this whole slew of gossip between friends. None of my friends, not even Toyota knows I’m talking to him. We had lunch. At the end of our conversation we admitted to each other that we would potentially like to start a casual sexual relationship together. He does know my friends. However with discretion and trust it would be easy for us to have some intimate human contact without the drama. We made a pinky swear at the end to our complete secrecy — maybe there will be something and maybe there won’t.

So what I see now is
Explorer wants me to wait for him in March with all of the above mentioned BS
Acura and I may have something
Cadillac and I may have something
Truckboy is out of the question
I want to be selfish, think about myself, and focus on school because my #1 priority is to school and being successful in my educational endeavors.

I do love Explorer. I can see myself being with him for a long time. I’m learning though that I have to not waste time on things that haven’t happened. I can’t be with him the way I want to. I know that if he were here that I wouldn’t be interested in other people. I acknowledge that ALL of this is in reaction to him having left me.

I come from a family that highly values sobriety, independence, and celibacy when needed. My childhood upbringing led me on a path of challenging and sometimes spiritual confrontation. I learnt that relationships could not be had out of codependence, fear, or addiction to substances or sex. Well, and what I found is that I’ve had no relationship that was void of all of those things. I understand that I need to find a place within myself where I can attract people to me that are “right” for me; and that I have to be that for them.

So… How do you know when it’s time to let go?

Finding Lube in the Kitchen

In Health and Body, Sex on February 5, 2010 at 2:55 am

Avocado Oil is great for a slick ride. But NOT with a condom.

Dear Yenta,

Even when I’m so turned on I’m begging for it, I’m still practically parched between my legs so sex can be uncomfortable. The thought of putting some synthetic product like KY jelly in my body makes me cringe. I try to stick to organics but really want sex to be more fun/comfortable/lubricated. Is there anything I can do naturally to give my sex life more glide?


Dry As a Riverbed in the Grand Canyon


Woohoo, there are many solutions to your problem! For one, start by drinking up. One way to replenish natural lube is to drink your 8 cups of water daily, if not twice that and/or lots of herbal tea. Maybe cut things like coffee, diet coke, etc out of your diet. These diaretics can squelch your liquid supply.

Also try taking a spoonful of oil in the morning. Literally ingesting oil, ie, a spoon of soybean, canola, olive or soybean oil can help. That, and ladies remember your kegels. Flexing the muscles and walls of the vagina can help produce more sexual fluid.

Next, check in with a doctor to be sure there isn’t anything fishy going on below. If you haven’t gone through menopause, then you should be pumping lube pretty easily. Also, one more preliminary trick: have your partner put a finger inside of you to draw out your fluids. Sometimes when you secrete during sex it doesn’t reach the outer lips, bring it forward. For those still working towards their first orgasm: this increases the pleasure involved in clitoral stimulation tenfold.

As for natural lube from outside sources, there are many options. Beware of a few things from the get go. (Click here for more on food in bed.)

Oil-based lubricants will basically rot your condom and get you unprotected in seconds. This means NO Vaseline, etc. Things that seem smart, but will kill the condom and get you sick or preggers.
2) Don’t use anything you or your partner is allergic to. Ie, if mayonnaise causes a rash, don’t go using it. Same goes for peanut oil and a peanut allergy. Be rational.
3) Avoid sugar-based substances. Sugar left in the vag will cause a yeast infection. No dice.

Natural Lube Options

Safe With a Latex Condom:

Yes Organic Natural Lubricant
FireFly Organics Lube with Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter
Sliquid Organics

Egg Whites

Safe (But NOT Safe w/ a Latex Condom)

Olive Oil
Peanut Oil
Corn Oil
Sunflower Oil
Vegetable or Mineral Oil
Avocado Oil
Whipping Cream

Beware, if applicable: there is no spermicide in natural lubricant.

Also, a note on the lubes we used…

According to Emma Pezzack in “How to Green Up Your Sex Life: Organic Personal Lubricant,”

“Most [standard lubricant] ingredients are various forms of petrochemicals such as propylene glycol (often used in car batteries as anti-freeze), synthetic preservatives (such as the family of parabens, which have been found in cancerous breast tissue and are known endocrine disruptors encouraging an over-abundance of estrogen), glycerine (which not only is drying over time causing skin to potentially become even more absorbent to harmful ingredients, but it’s also a sugar, therefore can feed candida, or thrush, bacteria), and sodium hydroxide (which is very harsh and irritating to skin).”

This means that potentially, the lube some of you use is ironically slowly killing your sexual organs. (Or something like that…)

Go organic, egg whites could be fun!

She Says She’s Too Fat For Love

In Dating, Health and Body, Sex on February 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

The Body Shop's Love Your Body Campaign

Dear Yenta,

Every time I want to have sex with my boyfriend, the second he touches me, I feel terrified that he’ll touch my stomach. I am so scared that he’ll think that I’m too fat to love and he’ll change his mind and just leave me there, naked and alone.

He says that he loves me just the way that I am, and would love me no matter what, but I can’t escape the voices in my head telling me that he’s delusional and it’s only a matter of time until he sees me from a certain angle and it will be all over. Generally, people think that I’m pretty skinny.

I know that there are people out there that feel bad about themselves, but I just feel lost and alone. I know that deep down inside I’m just not pretty enough, and if I was skinnier my life would be better.


Fat Head

Dear FH,

Chances are, if he says he loves your body, he loves your body. It isn’t, however, him or his love for you that I am worried about. My guess is that this has very little to do with fat and very little to do with your actual boyfriend, at least not in the obvious ways. There are a number of issues here, mainly revolving around a) your actual stomach and b) your body image, and they all fall on you to solve.

I am no doctor, but I like solving puzzles. With this, I want to start with the choice that your stomach is your feared location. In certain Acupuncture modalities the stomach region often relates to issues with power. If you fear your boyfriend’s rejection of your belly, could it also relate to issues with accepting your own powerful nature? Or, could you fear your femininity, pointing to your uterus more than your stomach?

You can play that game too, it is called, “name that subconscious cause” and often, once discovered, relieves a great deal of suffering. This is a fun game to play with a psychotherapist. Yup, find one by clicking here.

Then, the body image question. What does your size have to do with how loved you are? Unless, of course, you are severely overweight and using weight to hurt yourself and harm your health; but this sounds like something else. Body image issues to this degree are not acceptable, however normal they are. They need to be addressed and evaluated, overcome and discarded. We tend to project our fears and issues onto our bodies, rather than coping with them separately.

You need help. Not in a harsh or judgmental way, but in a “I want you to be happy and love your body and boyfriend and sex life kind of way.” There is something beneath the surface provoking your fears. It could be as simple as someone called you fat in 5th grade and you never forgot it, or as complex as being sexually abused as a child. These issues, however seemingly large or small, need to be addressed with a trained professional who can help guide you towards self-acceptance rather than starvation.

Another option, try Emily Stern’s Food Body Connection. A former fat activist turned health food fanatic and community educator, she uses the exploration of eating habits and mindsets about the body to probe larger life themes. She offers a free consultation and then a 6 session phone package that includes bi-weekly checking in. A lot of people seek this kind of directed support without a long term commitment and she comes highly recommended.

Other things to do on your own? Get educated on The Fat Acceptance Movement. You can find information on the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance website, or by reading this Time Magazine article. Also check out, recommended by Bitch Magazine.

You might just need a support group for learning how to love those handles. Take The Full Body Project’s lead.

Also: try reading: The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls to look at how society may have shaped your self-hatred.

Think it could be more than disordered eating, but an actual eating disorder? Go to

Think your partner has body issues? Discuss this post with them and offer these many resources as real viable options.

The Body Shop's Love Your Body Campaign used corporate advertising to combat social ills.

He Is Nesting In My Vag

In Health and Body, Sex on January 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Dear Yenta,

This large husband of mine cannot shake the notion that the actual intercourse part of sex should be as long as possible. There’s so much emphasis in pop culture about men “lasting” and men who orgasm too soon being less of a man or something. I’ve told him many, many times that in general I actually prefer it to be shorter. After awhile, it just starts getting painful down there, and I’m usually sore for a couple hours afterwards if it goes more than say, 5 minutes. He listens and understands when I talk to him about it, and he’s a sensitive modern type of guy, but I can see how this might be burned into his brain by the media, as it is a very popular joke/gripe. Do you have any way I could assure him yes, it is possible that I truly don’t agree with the popular portrayal of women wanting intercourse to go on forever? Other ideas?

-Lady With a Problem

Photo courtesy of Dwyer Kilcollin,

Dear LWAP,

We all want to go back to the womb. That is what life and sex and a whole lot of in-betweens come down to. It was toasty in there, full of love and free food and no worries. For a man, cradled inside your warm vagina, there might be a moment where it feels like he’s returned to the source.

One friend told me once about how her boyfriend, even after he comes, loves just hanging out in there. This makes complete sense to me, in fact, if I had a penis I would probably want it to constantly be resting or playing inside a vagina. But I don’t. Not everyone likes being their man’s nest. This moment of dwelling in the canal can feel like robbery, afterall it is not always about you, or sharing you, but instead about them nestling in some warm pseudo-mom-like zone.

My guess is, then, that your man is slightly affected by what you see as social expectation to last long, but probably moreso influenced by simply enjoying and wanting to be inside of you for as long as possible. Read “Ay AY AY He’s Huge!” for more on methods to increase your enjoyment, as well as possible STD’s or Vaginal infections that could be causing your pain.

That you don’t like housing his sword can mean a million things. The basic answer: simple, it hurts. But he could also be bad in bed, he could be insensitive, maybe you weren’t properly warmed up or prepared for entry. Perhaps you aren’t communicating enough in the throes of lovemaking. You might not actually like him, he could be an energy vampire, sucking your strength out your vag which is annoying for any woman and would be a good reason to want him to get out of there.

What it sounds like to me is that you and your lover need to start from scratch. I might even recommend stopping the sex altogether for a few weeks, and getting to know one another all over again. Re-acquaint yourself with this man, his spirit, and then his body and see if maybe your communication skills improve.

I only say this because it sounds like if sex causes you pain and him pleasure, there might need to be a new method of entry. Not a different pathway, but a different approach. He might need to learn to better bond with you, and you with him, so sex is a deep connection with no room for misinterpretation. It sounds like you are being pummeled, and you are sympathizing with him as if he were a teenaged boy needing to be de-socialized, when, I am assuming, he is a man.

My guess is that it will hurt less if you feel heard, turned on, soothed, and if your man respects that his pleasure causes you pain.

Get in touch with yourself by reading:

Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations from Adventure to Revenge (and Everything in Between) by Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss
How to Have an Orgasm…As Often As You Want by Rachel Swift

And send him to Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men: What Every Man Wants to Know About Making Love to a Woman and Never Asks for a sexual bootcamp.

Both of you could benefit from reading this article on mutual pleasuring from

For more on healthy happy sex, try listening to Susie Bright podcasts, or reading her blog and books.

Have a question? Ask Yenta anonymously via attn. merissas[at]gmail[dot]com.

Sex in New Mexico

In Health and Body, Mental Health, Sex on January 26, 2010 at 5:00 am

Southwest Burlesque Showcase: Myspace - NMBurlesqueShowcase

I met two women on a Saturday morning. Over coffee and bagels and lox at a hippie synagogue where they referenced Freud as often as God, they offered to take me to Albuquerque to a benefit for Self Serve (, a Sexuality Resource Center. It was between a sex toy party and going to The Ark, a spiritual bookstore, to learn about healing by numbers.

I went to Albuquerque to the sex toy party and was not disappointed in the least. Think giant warehouse gallery, tarot card readers and burlesque dancers; fetish outfit sales, an old lady making pornographic greeting cards, a giant penis doll and crafts, free massage and m and m’s to go around. There was even a clean-cut awkward older dude sitting alone coloring in a coloring book of a naked woman and a stick.

Lollies for the kiddies.

For those of you in search of new toys, rape crisis resources, handbags, earrings and/or a poster of hot women posing with their bulldogs, please see below.

Pitbulls and Pinups:

Fetish Outfitting:

Body Centered Talk Therapy:

BDSM Coloring Books, thanks to

Fantasy Art Prints:

Or, for more of this lady's work,

Anie Lazuli, Passionate Empowerment and Entertainment
Including: Gypsy Dance, Tarot Readings, Past Life Regressions and
Cleansings. Find her by name on

Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski: Badass Earring Maker
Find her at
FYI, her card reads: “Youth Worker, Poet, Performer, Muralist, Artist, Playwrite, Earrings, Paintings, Workshops, Shows.” No small feat.

Sex Questions and Discussion:

Handbags With Portraits of Serial Killers:

Rape Crisis:
They have an anonymous 24/hr hotline at 505.266.7711
Or…go to Ask An Advocate on their website for online anonymous support.

And at the end of a long day I went to a hotel to poach internet. There was a dude in the hall searching for an escort for his friend. He wanted to use my computer and I said no. Fyi: SouthwestCompanions

Have a question? Or a resource to share? E-mail me anonymously at merissag[at]gmail[dot]com via