Friday, March 28, 2008

Beginner Sex Toy!?

What is a good "beginner" sex toy? What is something that could spice up sex without being too over the top?

For either hetero or men couples, we'd suggest something simple and "external" to get started- perhaps one of the erection rings with a bullet vibrator. (Most are advertised for hetero couples experiencing vaginal intercourse, but they are also something couples having anal intercourse may find pleasurable.) Simple vibrating cock rings are inexpensive and you can buy them at the local drugstore, which is a very easy introduction. For women couples, a clitoral stimulator strap on or harness may be appealing.

This could go on all day, but there is a great resource that will ask you personal questions and guide you thru selecting a toy that is right for you and your partner, provided by the website. There are individual pages for hetero, gay and lesbian couple. Click on Shopping, Shopping Guides, then Couples Toy Guides and you'll end up here:

You can use the guide and purchase your toys thru their site or use it to explore, then seek other options at one of our other favorites:,,,!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Painful penetration- Help?

"My girlfriend and I have had sex about a dozen times, but often penetration still causes her discomfort. Sometimes, she is in pain throughout the act. Is this normal? Is there anyway to alleviate her pain?"

To answer this question, we looked at a number of medical sites and found we most liked Columbia's "Ask Alice!" site, so we adapted it. The short answer is that intercourse shouldn't be painful, so your girlfriend should make an appointment to speak with a medical provider and get more personalized feedback, but a more developed answer (thank you Alice!) is below:

There are any number of reasons why one might be experiencing painful intercourse. The most common reasons are poor communication skills, lack of trust or commitment, and sexual ignorance. However, it sounds like in your case, it is caused by none of the above. There are also several physical reasons you might experience pain during intercourse (all are remedy-able):

  • Painful penetration -- vaginismus: This is a strong, involuntary tightening of your vaginal muscles -- a spasm of the outer third of your vagina which makes entrance by the penis acutely painful. This can be physically or psychologically based.
  • Local infection: Some vaginal infections can be present in a non acute, visually unnoticeable form. The friction of a penis can cause the infection to flare up.
  • Insufficient lubrication: If your natural secretions of lubrication are not enough, or your timing is off, the friction of a penis in your vagina could be quite painful. In this case, using an extra lubricant, such as Astroglide (available in Dick's House) might help.
  • Tightness in the vaginal entrance: The first few times you have intercourse, an unstretched hymen can cause pain. And whenever you are tense and preoccupied, the vaginal entrance is not likely to loosen up enough, therefore making getting the penis in hurtful. In addition, if you try to get the penis in before you are fully aroused, you might still be too tight, even though you are lubricated enough. Slow down and take your time.
  • Pain deep in the pelvis: This can be caused by tears in the ligaments that support the uterus, infections of the cervix, uterus or tubes, endometriosis, or cysts or tumors on the ovaries. All of these may be medically treatable.

Whatever the cause, your girlfriend doesn't need to put up with the pain! Get a good gynecological exam at Dick's House (call x6-9401 or use BannerStudent online to make an appointment), and find out what's going on. In the meantime, continue to find other ways to give each other pleasure. Feel good!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I can only have an orgasm with my legs straight and tensed

I can only have an orgasm with my legs straight and tensed. Is this weird?

The truth is a lot of people wonder if they look or act silly when they're feeling especially pleasured during sexual activity. And, the truth is that a lot of people do really different things- some people moan loudly, some scrunch up their face, curl their toes, even laugh! If you're comfortable being sexual with your partner, it's likely that it doesn't really matter all too much what happens when you orgasm. Regardless, try to focus on the orgasmic feeling you've just achieved, rather than your appearance. And, keep those orgasms coming!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

is keeping your virginity at at dartmouth abnormal?

i'm an '11 guy who has chosen to keep his virginity thus far because i haven't met the right girl. now, though, i'm starting to feel more self-conscious about it, because i feel like very few other men at dartmouth make this choice, and i get uncomfortable when they ask me about my sex life. i know it's your job to tell me that i should make sexual decisions the way i want to and that lots of other people are like me, but seriously, at dartmouth, is this really abnormal for someone who isn't a social pariah?

So, you're right: We are going to tell you that you are not abnormal and that your choice to abstain from sex is thoughtful, mature and all up to you. But, let's get some data to "back us up".

A study of undergraduates at four universities published in 2005 shows how college students' perceptions of their peers' sexual activity can be exaggerated. The study, revealed that 80 percent of students had 0 or 1 sexual partner during the preceding year, only 22 percent of those students believed their fellow students had one or fewer partners. 59 percent of students reported having no sexual activity within the past 30 days. Most participants, misleadingly, thought that other students had at least 3 partners during the previous year.

Recent Data from Dartmouth Student survey (from 2005 National College Health Assessment Data) self-reported that 31% of students abstained from sex in the past school year (34% men and 29% women). However, when asked how they perceived their peers' sexual experiences, only 1.4% (2.4% men and 0.7% women) believed that their peers (the same people answering the survey) were abstaining from sex in the past school year. We "talk" sex a lot! (and keep it mostly to "talk")

This is your choice (which is supported by at least 30% of Dartmouth's men). And our belief is that having your first time be with someone you really care about - when you are both ready - will increase the odds that it will be GREAT!

Masturbation Headache?

When I masturbate I get a terrible rush of pain in the back of my head (not my penis head, the one on my shoulders). I did a google search and this is surprisingly common, but what should I do? This started 2 weeks ago and I'm too embarrassed to go to Dicks House and I'm afraid that if I have sex with my partner, one of these headaches will come along and ruin it. Having an orgasm until your head explodes may sound nice, but I'm sure it won't feel that way.

As you found in your research, this reaction is fairly common, and we've heard from others who have experienced this as well. It's possible that your headache is a variation of a migraine headache, called 'orgasmic headache'. However, while it is completely understandable that it may feel embarrassing to share this information in person with someone, it is really important that you do.

Considering this experience is a recent development for you, you should make an appointment with a medical provider to have the concern checked out, as there are other neurological issues that may be need to be assessed. As a Dartmouth student, you can request an appointment with a male provider at Dick's House, which may make the conversation a bit less intimidating, but either way, it's important to get to a doctor's office.

Thanks for asking- this will be helpful information for many men!

How Can I Last Longer?

Endurance. Are there proven ways that a man can extend the duration of sexual intercourse without having to orgasm within the first 30 or less minutes? Nothing is worse then being in one of those moods that you kind of want to be at it with your lover for a while and your body is telling you to finish within the first 15 minutes. How can I last longer?

Endurance is ultimately about training your body a new response pattern. According to Richard Spark's book on Sexual Health for Men (available in Dana Library), there are two specific exercises which he cites as having an "80 to 85 percent success rate in helping men overcome their tendency to ejaculate before maximal sexual excitement has been achieved"(that's as close as we could come to "proven methods").

The Squeeze Technique: Your partner (or, presumably, you) strokes and caresses your penis and testicles to the point of (near) orgasm. When you think you're about to ejaculate, your partner (or you) lightly squeezes the bulbous tip of the penis (the "glans"). When you feel that you've regained some control over your impulse to ejaculate, caressing begins again and the process is repeated.

The Start-Stop Technique: your partner strokes the penis to near ejaculation at which point your partner will stop. (some people like to take this time to kiss, massage each other, perform oral sex, rather than just "wait"). After a few minutes, again having regained some control, the stroking begins again-
The goal: "as the exercises progress, the interval between start and stop signals lengthens until the man acquires the ability to determine the moment of ejaculation...gradually, as the man becomes use to the experience of prolonged pleasure from sexual stimulation, he will gain confidence and control over his ejaculation."

If you want to read up more, also check out Bernie Zilbergeld's Male Sexuality (in the Baker-Berry library at HQ36.Z54) on more info/other exercises for endurance.

Some men masturbate prior to engaging in sexual activities with a partner- and cite this as a major source of endurance. Other men advise to practice stopping urination mid-stream- recognizing how to squeeze that muscle may help (also known as Kegel Technique). Some men find cock rings useful (available at our very own local CVS) in delaying ejaculation- vibrating cock rings can also be fun!

Finally, orgasming more quickly then you liked never means the fun has to stop there. Sharing in sexual experiences with your partner does not necessarily mean rushing to the "main event" but enjoying the process as a whole. A comment posted on stated "I came all over the mattress beneath me while performing oral sex on my girlfriend. I continued until she was satiated, and when I apologetically revealed the puddle of semen on the bed, rather than being dismayed, she felt delighted and flattered that I should reach an orgasm so readily, such was my obvious arousal at being with her..." So, take your time, mix things up, and the orgasm is not the end all by any means!