Q: I have a small penis and I'm a little embarrassed about my overall body appearance. I'm so incredibly shy about being naked in front of my partner that I ask that the we turn off the lights before we get intimate. Do you have any ideas on how I can overcome my shyness?
A: It might be helpful to know that the vast majority of us have things about our bodies that we don't like. In fact, studies find about 45% of men wish they had a bigger penis in particular. So you're far from alone in feeling like this. However, researchers have also found that the vast majority of women (85%) are satisfied with the penis size of their male sexual partners. So, this is mostly an issue for men, rather than their sex partners.
I'm glad that you recognize that this is something you can overcome. I suggest making small steps toward becoming more comfortable showing your body to your partner. You could start by being naked with your partner in low light, perhaps candle light. Over time, see if you can incorporate a dimmed light bulb and then, as you begin to feel more comfortable, gradually increase the amount of light in the room. It's likely that as you increase the light in the room, you'll continue to have satisfying, enjoyable sexual experiences. This process will help to ease your anxiety about being naked in front of your partner.
Q: There have been two times during sex where I "queef". I don't know why and I don't know how to prevent it (its really embarrassing). Any tips?
A: Queefing (air passing out of the vagina during sex) is totally normal and is caused by air being pressed into the vagina by the penis. Some positions (such as doggystyle) tend to send more air into the vagina, because the penis pulls out of the vagina more often while having sex. If the penis pulls out completely and then reenters, it's more likely to push air into the vagina. This isn't dangerous in anyway, but, as you mentioned it can be embarrassing when the air noisily escapes the vagina. There's not much that can be done about queefing except to laugh it off. It happens to every woman. It also happens to women and men when they have anal sex, but in that case it's just called farting.
Here's a good clip about queefing from Dr. Sue, who used to have a late-night talk show about sex.
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.