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Jun 27

Why you can’t always get what you want — sexually

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 in Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Sex/sexuality

I waited until after noon on Saturday to text Sara; Friday was her third date with the OkCupid cutie she was sweet on, and so the first night she figured they’d be sleeping together.

“??!!??” I texted.

She called immediately.


“Well, he’s got a great bod.”


“And he’s, uh, endowed.”

“Nice. And?”

“He likes to go down.”

“Hallelujah and amen! And?

“And, he’s long lasting, like really long.”

“Well, that sounds like a perfect storm!”

“Yeah, it’s just that …”


“I’m not into marathon sex anymore. Not at midlife. Because, you know.

(Yeah, I do know. Midlife. Women. Lubrication. Things happen. Or not.)

“So, did you say something to him?”

“You can’t talk to guys about sex. It freaks them out.”

And isn’t that the sad truth?

Not that you can talk too easily to women, either.

OK — the first date probably isn’t the time to get into it, especially since it may be sexual blip. Maybe he isn’t a marathoner after the first “conquest.” No matter; beside the fact that there’s almost always some sort of back story to sex — guilt, shame, abuse, fear, body-image isues, whatever — why is saying, “Please do this” or “That’s too hard” or “Try it there” so difficult? We often feel weird asking for what we’d like sexually, or get upset or disappointed by hearing what our partner wants — we’re not measuring up!!! — and so a lot of good sex time is being wasted because we’re not expressing our needs, gently, of course.

If you asked people whether they’d want to know exactly want their partner would like sexually, how they could please them, who among us would say they’re not interested in knowing? We all are interested. And yet, we often don’t tell or ask.

It’s important, too since most men — about 85 percent — say their partner’s had an orgasm while only 64 percent of gals say they had the Big O during their last romp. Hmmm ….

Now, if you’re clear about what you want and tell your partner, and your partner consistently doesn’t oblige, then you have another conversation. And believe me, that one is a lot harder!

  • How good are you at expressing your sexual needs?
  • How good are you at hearing your partner expressing his/her sexual needs?

Fotolia © Laurent Hamels

Apr 21

I know I’m faking it; does he?

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 in dating, Happiness, Honesty, love, Relationships, Self image, Sex/sexuality

“You know,” Sara said in between sips of her latte the other morning, “words are pretty powerful.”

“That’s rather random, ” I said. “What are you getting at?”

“I mean, there are certain phrases that can cause a lot of anxiety, even if they’re, like, nothing more than two or three words.”

“Oh sure, like, ‘I love you‘ blurted out at the wrong moment.”

“Or, ‘Do you love me?'”

“Right. And, ‘I’m pregnant.'”

“We need to talk.”

I need some space.”

“And a guy’s favorite, ‘”What are you thinking?'”

“Let’s not forget, ‘Did you come?'”    

“Ohh, that’s a toughie.”

“Why? It’s not exactly a trick question, Sara. It’s either yes or no; just like you can’t be a little bit pregnant, you can’t get a little off.”

“But, who’s going to say, ‘no’?”

“I do! Because, what if you don’t?”

“Then you fake it.”

“Oh, you mean lie.

“That’s one of those white lies that hurts no one,” Sara sniffed.

I’m not so sure about that. In the moment, sure, everyone’s saving face. But is it so devastating
to not have an orgasm that we have to fake it?

Isn’t it better to let our partner know — in a loving way of course — that it just wasn’t happening for
us this time, and that you’ll happily take a rain check? What guy will get upset if you say, “Just let me finish myself off; you can watch”?

Not to say I haven’t faked my share … in the past. I’ve faked orgasms because I’ve been insecure, or lazy, or distracted, or it was courtesy sex or I just wasn’t into the relationship enough to care. Now, I
value honesty more.

If you’re in a loving relationship, isn’t it better to be honest about everything — even the hard stuff — so you can work together to make it better?

Of course, who really knows if your partner’s faking an orgasm? (and, sorry guys, but all that moaning and groaning isn’t a guarantee)

Hugo M. Mialon does. The economics professor at Emory University who normally tackles “The economics of the Bill of Rights” and torture and such takes on deception in sex in “The economics of faking ecstasy.”

Using that scene in “When Harry Met Sally” when Sally says all women have faked orgasms and Harry says “not with me” — yet another clueless guy who believes that  — as a starting point, Mialon discovers some interesting realities:

  • If we believe our partners can tell if we’re faking, we’re significantly less likely to fake it than those who believe our partners can’t tell
  • Men who are closer to age 18 are less likely to fake than older guys (Yes, men can fake it!)
  • The greater our demand for togetherness, the more likely we are to fake it
  • Gals who are closer to age 30 are less likely to fake than older women (See?)
  • Women who care about their sweetie’s sexual pleasure are more likely to fake
  • The more educated we are, the more likely we are to fake it

Which totally validates a cougar’s perspective on things — older women should have sex with younger guys because neither will be lying about getting off!

I was never in a whiz in economics, but this kind of math I can understand!

  • So, have you faked an orgasm?
  • Have any of your partners past and present faked it?
  • Is it lying, or being loving?
  • If you’ve either faked it, or thought someone was faking it, how did you feel about it?
  • If your partner doesn’t come, how do you feel about it?

Photo © vgstudio –

Feb 10

I’m digging those good vibrations

Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 in Happiness, masturbation, Relationships, Sex/sexuality, Singles

The way things happen around my house is the way things happen when celebrities hit the dust — in threes.

First, my CD player was flipping out, then the kitchen grinder became useless and then  — at the most inopportune time — I fried my B.O.B.

You can probably guess which upset me the most.

So, I had to take care of it as soon as possible, which would have been immediately but there were other silly things — oh, like work, a school event, seeing my tax accountant — that I had to attend to first.
I just hate when life gets in the way of the fun parts.

By the time I had a moment to breathe, the odd phenomenon that often hits women kicked in. I got a call from Mia. She and I were in sync — but since we’re menopausal, it wasn’t about our periods.

“Hey, I have to go to Pleasures. My vibrator’s on the fritz. Wanna come?”

“Are you serious? I was just going to head over there because I fried mine weeks ago and I’m desperate. There’s just so much I can ask of my fingers.”

“Good,” she said. “I’ll see you in 10.”

Now, I haven’t bought a vibrator in a while,
so when I walked in and saw all the choices, it was quite overwhelming.
It felt a little like the first time I tried online dating — this one’s awfully cute but that one’s bigger and stronger, this one’s built for speed but that one looks like a, uh, multitasker.

I was confused (especially by the ones that are shaped like animals; since when is gopher a turn-on?)

“So, which one are leaning toward?” I asked Mia.

“I want one that hits all the right spots. You?”

All the spots?  My old vibrator was a basic Pocket Rocket. I like the simplest, most straight-forward one, one that get the job done quickly so I can get on to other things, like sleep, without having every part of me stimulated. The last thing I want to do is have an orgy of one.

“Um, I think I want something simple, something Sean and I can play with together.”

“Really? Doesn’t he get upset if you have to bring in ammo?”

“What do you mean?”

“Isn’t he jealous of your vibrator?”

Jealous of my vibrator? No, he isn’t, thankfully, nor is it a matter of “have to.” But I got what Mia was saying — some guys get really tweaked if their woman has a selection of vibrating, pulsating sex toys.


Could it have anything to do with, oh, say, length, girth, endurance …


Still, I don’t know of a woman who would choose a B.O.B. over a man, ever, despite all the jokes: “vibrators are never too busy watching the game on TV; it doesn’t leave a mess behind; it doesn’t care that you gained 10 pounds; it doesn’t fall asleep and snore in your ear afterward: when we’re done with them we can stuff them back in the drawer and not hear from them until we’re ready,” etc.

OK, yes — vibrators are great. Can’t orgasm through intercourse? No problem! And for single gals, it’s what helps us stay sane during the dry spells without having to rely on booty-calls, especially if we feel conflicted about them. They’re an essential part of being sexual beings, not to mention that they just make us feel so good!

But jealous? Look, we’re not going to get “addicted”; it doesn’t mean you’re not man enough for us; and no, we’re going to permanently replace you with a Magic Wand. Still, when even Men’s Health offers tips on how to “outperform her vibrator,” a woman’s got to wonder — is this really an issue for guys?

Because I can guarantee you, we gals aren’t losing any sleep over blow-up dolls. Or your right hand.

In the end, I came home with a Pocket Rocket again; it’s small but powerful, and you know what they say — it’s not about size, but how you use it.

And that’s what I was planning to do later that night when the phone rang; it was Sean.

“What are you up to?”

“Mia and I both got new vibrators today, and I was just about to give mine a test run.”

“Can I watch?”

See, men do like vibrators after all!

  • Guys, how do you feel about vibrators?
  • Gals, have a favorite model (or two)?
  • Gals, ever have a guy freak about your sex toys?