Q: When I'm having sex with my girlfriend, I make her talk dirty saying things like, "F*** me harder", "you taste so good", etc... I find that it really turns me on to hear her say these things. She thinks its kind of weird, but she plays along. Why does hearing certain words make us more horny?
A: Most of what we personally find sexually arousing comes down to past experiences. Whatever we've been exposed to while being sexually aroused in the past tends to make us more sexually aroused in the future. This is a product of classical conditioning. For example, let's say you're watching pornography that you find particularly arousing and, in this porn, the actors are using this type of language. It's likely your brain will make an association between these words and being sexually aroused. Then, in the future, when you hear this type of language again, it will activate the parts of your brain that respond to sexual arousal.
There may also be something especially titillating about curse words, given their forbidden nature. When we act in a way that isn't socially acceptable, it heightens our physiological arousal. This is why many criminals feel a sort of "high" when they're committing a crime, and why teens often enjoy "breaking the rules" with their friends. This heightened arousal is caused, in part, by the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can give us the feeling of having more energy and have a greater degree of concentration and motivation. It's likely that hearing your partner curse is triggering this type of stress-response in you, which can be quite pleasurable during sex.
Q: I grew up in a very religious household where I was taught that masturbation is a sin and that we should wait until marriage until sex. As a result I'm still a virgin and I don't masturbate. However, I do have frequent wet dreams. I have wet dreams at least twice a week and I feel embarrassed having to wash my sheets and boxers all the time. Is there anything I can do to reduce the frequency of wet dreams (without resorting to masturbation)?
A: Wet dreams are a result of having a build-up of semen and sperm in your body. There is really only way to alleviate that build-up, which is to ejaculate regularly. If you're not having sex, then masturbation is the only way to do this. There really isn't any way to get around this. But, masturbation is a natural and healthy thing that all people should be doing anyway. I suggest checking out this short video on the benefits of masturbation.
However, I understand that this may go against your religious beliefs, so it's up to you. But, there really is no other way to prevent wet dreams.
Q: I am a male who plans to have sex with another male for experimental reasons and I was wondering what can I do to have safe and protected sex since this person that I plan to have sex with is new to me.
A: it's always a good idea to consider ways of protecting yourself before you have sex, so I'm glad you're already thinking about this! Using protection is pretty much the same whether you're having sex with a man or a woman: Use condoms. Condoms are the only way to prevent the spread of STIs during sex and should always be used with new partners. I would hope that you could also talk with this person about their past sexual history and whether or not they have an STI before having sex with them. Although, people aren't always honest about this, so it's always a good idea to use condoms regardless.
Beyond using condoms, another way to protect yourself against HIV/AIDS specifically is by taking the preventative medication, PrEP. This is a once-daily pill that can greatly reduce your chance of contracting HIV if you come in contact with the virus. It's often recommended to men who have sex with other men on a regular basis, especially if they're having sex with multiple partners. PrEP is a prescription medication and it does have some side-effects, so it's a good idea to talk about this with your doctor if you're interested.
Q: A long time kink of mine has been to have sex with my football jersey and helmet on. I've recently started dating this girl I met on Tinder and she and I have been waiting to have sex upon her request. I'm really nervous about telling her about it. The last girl I dated literally laughed at me when I asked her if I could put the helmet and jersey on. Needless to say, she never returned my calls. I guess I just need advice as to how to bring this kink up. I really don't want to scare her away.
A: Most people have something they enjoy sexually that is unique or a "kink," so these types of requests aren't uncommon. It's sad that your former partner wasn't even willing to try it out with you, but I'm hopeful you'll be able to explore this with your current partner.
I would suggest bringing this up slowly with your new partner. At this point, it doesn't sound like you're having sex yet, so this definitely wouldn't be a good time. Wait until you've formed a comfortable, sexual relationship first. You could then start by simply wearing a football t-shirt when having sex. This is something that she's unlikely to even notice. If she does notice, you can just tell her that you just like the shirt. If she's cool with that, then ask her if you can wear your football jersey during sex. You can say that it adds a fun "roleplay" aspect of sex that you enjoy. If she's happy to oblige, then you can eventually work your way up to your full kink. It would be good if she wanted to "play along" as well, such as wearing a cheerleader outfit, or whatever outfit would work with the roleplaying scenario.
I think if you bring it up slowly and make sure she's comfortable with each step, then you should be able to introduce this role-play kink into your sex life. Of course, if your current partner is uncomfortable with this kink or doesn't enjoy it, you should find a way to have sex that makes both of you happy.
Q: I've heard that vaginal cleansers (such as ones made by Summer's Eve) are unsafe to use. Is this true? If so, what would be the correct way to cleanse the vulva?
A: You're right that many studies have found that vaginal cleansers are not only unnecessary for feminine hygiene, but can also be quite dangerous. Vulvas naturally clean themselves, so there is never a need to clean out the vagina.
Within the vagina, there are many "healthy" forms of bacteria. These normally fight off bad bacteria and viruses, keeping the vagina healthy and clean. However, if a woman "cleans out" her vagina by using Summer's Eve or other vaginal douches, this can flush out all of that good bacteria, which leaves the vagina vulnerable to infections. Studies show that using douching or vaginal cleansing products leads to much higher rates of bacterial infections (such as yeast infections), pelvic inflammatory disease, and even cancer. What's more, women who douche regularly are also more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases, such as HPV, have pregnancy complications, such as preterm pregnancies. All of this is due to vaginal cleansing products getting rid of the natural, beneficial bacteria that is present in the vagina.
If a woman's vagina does have a prominent, unpleasant odor, she likely has a vaginal infection and should see a doctor for treatment. Mild odors are most often caused by a collection of sweat in the public area. This can be easily solved by taking a regular shower.
For more info, check out these website:
Q: What are the best positions for a guy with a 4 inch penis ?
A: First off, I just wanted to be clear that a 4-inch penis is not an atypical penis size. An average penis is 5.2 inches long, so being a little shorter than that is still well within the range of a normally sized penis. So, any sex position that an average man can do, you can absolutely do to (because you're pretty much average). That being said, there are some sex positions which allow for deeper penetration, if that's something you and your partner are looking for.
In general, you can't go wrong with the woman-on-top position (cowgirl position), because this lets the female partner take complete control of how they're being sexually stimulated. They can decide how deep they want to be penetrated, as well as the angle and other factors of penetration. This position also makes it very easy for the female or male partner to stimulate the clitoris directly with their hands during sex. This is, by far, the easiest way for a woman to reach orgasm during sex. The rear-entry position (doggy-style) can also allow for deep penetration, if the female partner points her buttocks toward the ceiling (leaning her stomach toward the floor). This hip-position allows for the penis to enter deeply into the vagina. But, make sure not to thrust too quickly at first, because this position might cause the penis to hit the cervix, which can be painful.
In general, though, the depth of penetration doesn't seem to matter much when it comes to female sexual pleasure (at least not for the vast majority of women). Most of the nerve endings in the vulva are in the clitoris and outer vagina (such as the vaginal lips and g-spot). There aren't very sensitive nerves toward the back of the vagina, so stimulating those areas isn't going to increase sexual pleasure for most women. Whenever having sex, the best way to figure out if you're partner is having a good time is to ask them; and also frequently ask what they would like to do.
Q: Why is there a stigma that most young gay men have daddy issues? Where did that stem from? Is there any data/research showing it is true or false?
A: I must not get out much, because I've never heard of this idea before. I've never seen any research pertaining to this issue, but I don't think that gay men are any more likely to have "daddy issues" than anyone else.
Perhaps this idea comes from an old Freudian theory that gay men are a result of having an overbearing mother and an absent father. Freud believed this caused young men to identify with their mothers and emulate them, rather than their fathers. This would then result in these men growing up to be feminine and/or gay. However, this theory has been completely debunked by modern research. Gay men aren't any more likely than average to have absent fathers or overly involved mothers. Homosexuality is largely a product of biological factors, such as a person's genes and hormones. But, perhaps Freud's old theory still lives on as the basis for this stereotype.
Q: Hi, Dr. Sex. I am a queer male who LOVES flirting with straight men; like I get off on it af. Is this a product of commitment issues, a genuine kink, or am I just flirting with the idolization of toxic hetero/cis-dominant masculinity? Also, I've noticed straight men who have girlfriends are wayyy more comfortable 'jokingly' flirting with gay men - is there anything there? #PlsSendHalp
A: To summarize, it seems that you enjoy flirting with people who don't have genuine sexual interest in you. There could be a lot of reasons for that. It might because there's no pressure or consequences when you flirt with someone "just for fun," where you know that it won't actually result in sex or a relationship. It could also be extra exciting because of the "forbidden" aspect of flirting with straight men, especially those who are already partnered. You might also just be attracted to masculine guys (although, there are plenty of gay, masculine men out there too). The only person who can say exactly why you enjoy doing this is you.
I would say that this behavior isn't bad or unhealthy unless you feel that it's keeping you from establishing meaningful and satisfying sexual relationships. If you find that you aren't attracted to anyone who would be attracted to you, then you might want to talk with someone about that (perhaps a close friend or therapist). But, if you just enjoy flirting with straight men and your straight, male friends enjoy it too, then I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
Q: By boyfriend and I were talking about the possibility of having a threesome with another girl. If we do it, should my boyfriend change condoms as he goes between the other girl and me? I'm worried about getting a STD.
A: Yes, your boyfriend should definitely change condoms when switching between partners. If one person has an STD, than that virus/bacteria can stick to the outside of the condom, which would then be introduced to the second partner if he doesn't switch condoms in between.
Q: I haven’t had a girlfriend since I’ve been in college. I have talked to many girls while in college which seemed like it was going in the right direction towards a relationship. However, I always seem to lose interest in them or see them as unattractive when things are about to get “serious”. Which results in me ignoring them or cutting off the relationship all together. This happens when they start to get too clingy or when they start wanting to get sexually intimate. I don’t mean to lose interest in them or see them unattractive it just seems to happen of a sudden. Is this normal and can I do anything to change?
A: There definitely seems to be a problem here. Thankfully, you've clearly recognized that this is an ongoing pattern in your relationships, and that's the first step toward addressing it. There could be many reasons why you suddenly get "turned off" when women show romantic or sexual interest in you. It could be that you don't really want a relationship at this time, but are seeking relationships simply because you feel pressured to by friends or family, or because it's the "normal" thing to do. It could be that you're afraid of becoming intimate with another person, perhaps because you've had some negative experiences with this in the past. Or, it could be that you're not sexually interested in women, perhaps because you're more attracted to men or not sexually attracted to anyone (i.e., asexual). This pattern could be caused by a myriad of different reasons, so it's something you'll have to figure out for yourself.
It would probably be helpful to talk about this with a trained counselor. Thankfully, you can attain free counseling as a UC Merced student. Just visit the counseling website here. Since this is keeping you from attaining satisfying relationships, this is a good reason to seek professional help. I'm confident that you can figure out exactly why you're doing this and change this pattern in the future.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.