Sex Talk
Archive 02

 

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit www.CollegeSexTalk.com Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit www.collegesextalk.com/questions.htm and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: www.my-secure-site.com/collegesextalk/ or sandy@collegesextalk.com

Body Image
Desire/Arousal
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues
He Goes so Deep He Hits Bone
I have inverted nipples
Importance of a Condom
It is hard being a virgin in college
Long Distant Relationships
My boyfriend doesn't get into sex
Painful Sex
Penis Size
Ovulation & Sex
Safest Brand of Condoms
Sexual Function/Problems
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Soreness After Sex
Why Do Women Always Want Serious Commitments?

Resources
Related Issues:
Sexuality, Gay/Bi/Trans, Teen Sex , Talking With Kids About Tough Issues
Journals - on Sexual Abuse and Trauma
Periodicals -Gay/Bi
Books
Sexuality, Gay/bi, and Transgender.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Q from a Female, Senior Texas A&M: What are the symptoms of genital warts?

A: Genital warts are determined by visible inspection. HPV (human papilloma virus) causes genital warts, which is a very common virus, infecting about 1 out of every 4 sexually active people. The warts typically appear on the genitals as soft, pink, painless single or multiple growths resembling a small cauliflower. In men, they may appear on the penis, foreskin, and scrotum, and within the urethra. In women, they may be found on the vulva, in the vagina, and on the cervix. The warts begin to appear 1-3 months after contact and are diagnosed visibly at a health clinic specializing in sexually transmitted infections. They may be removed by freezing, burning, dehydration with an electrical needle, or surgery. Although such treatments may remove the warts, please be aware that they do not rid the body of the virus - so there may be recurrences.

Q from a Female, Senior student at the University of Maine: Can you get genital herpes from someone with a cold sore giving you oral sex?

A: Yes. Genital herpes infection is caused by exposure to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV 1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV 2) through sexual contact. HSV 1 initially was associated with oral infection (cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth) and HSV 2 with genital infection (blisters on the penis or vulva). Over the past 30 years, however, the increased popularity of oral sex has led to an almost equal probability of transferring either form from mouth to genitals and vice versa. The two viruses are not different clinically, as both cause the same painful symptoms. A person with blisters on the mouth cannot only transfer the virus to another person’s genitals, and vice versa, but a person with herpes can transfer it to other parts of his or her own body by touch, including the eyes, as well (this is called autoinoculation). A 2-12 day incubation period follows transmission of the virus. There is no cure, but there is treatment to speed the healing of the painful blisters. An estimated 20-30 million people are presently infected with genital herpes in the U.S. You should know that the virus can be easily spread by even a quick, casual kiss and thus it should not be assumed that a person with oral herpes got it from performing oral sex. By the way, not all mouth ulcers are caused by the herpes virus; they can also be caused by bacteria, allergic reactions, or autoimmune (canker sores) responses. However, “fever blisters” and most cold sores are herpes.

Body Image


Q from a Female, Sophomore Cal State -Fullerton: Why are women made to feel unattractive if they are average-looking as opposed to model-looking.

A: If by "average-looking" you mean the majority of women, then logically the majority must be attractive since they attract others and the human race continues. If only people who look like models were attractive, the birth rate would drop precipitously. Not all men look for the same characteristics, despite the messages from the media about the ideal female form. In fact, over time the ideal changes. I have a friend who's rosy gentle curves would make her an ideal in the 17th century. Relax and look for a guy who's ideal is not the media stereotype.

Sexual Function/Problems


Q from a Female, Sophomore student at Tennessee State: Me and my boyfriend have been together for 4 months. When we have sex I can't come. I think I can do it but I'm not sure, this upsets my boyfriend as he thinks I don't get pleasure from sex with him but I do. Can you help me??

A: It is not uncommon for women to have problems reaching orgasm early on in a sexual relationship. It takes time to get to know what is possible when the two of you are together. It sounds like you need to spend some time finding out what is pleasurable for you.

Are you comfortable touching your own body? Once you know what feels good - you will be better able to point your partner in the right direction. It's also important to know that most women need direct stimulation of the clitoris for orgasm to occur.

As far as penis-in-vagina sex: this tends to be an ineffective method for many women to reach orgasm. The clitoris is located too far from the vaginal opening to receive adequate stimulation from thrusting alone. It is not surprising to hear you have not reached orgasm this way. Your boyfriend needs to know this and be educated as well.

I suggest you begin by familiarizing yourself with your own body. One book that has been helpful for many women in your situation is, For Each Other, by Lonnie Barbach (see suggested books on my website). Her book discusses female anatomy, pleasure, and touching, as well as how to communicate your needs and desires to your partner. I think your boyfriend would benefit from reading this with you.

Remember: Every woman is unique. The only way he will know how to please you is if you understand yourself. Best wishes!

Q from a Female, Senior student at Miami University: I am never able to fully attain an orgasm. Whether with my boyfriend, or while masturbating, I always reach the point where I feel an orgasm coming, and then my body becomes completely numb for a few moments. After, I feel overly sensitive, as though I've just had an orgasm.

What can I do to stop "freezing" and start feeling the orgasm? I've had orgasms in the past, but not in a few years. I've never experienced anything sexually traumatic, and my relationship with my boyfriend is very fulfilling, so what could the problem be?

A: It is not uncommon for women to have problems reaching orgasm. It takes time to get to know your body and how it works - what feels good and what is a turn-on. You say you reach a point where things become numb. One suggestion is to move toward orgasm more slowly. Another is to stimulate the area around the clitoris ­ rather than directly. In fact, some women find that direct stimulation of the clitoris is way too sensitive, and they shut down. So try to begin by gently stimulating the area around the clitoris, and then "back off" every few minutes before returning to stroking your clitoris. Allow yourself to build toward the orgasm. The other suggestion is to purchase a vibrator (sold as body massager in most stores), and use that either alone or with your partner to explore what feels good. One book I would recommend is For Yourself, by Lonnie Barbach. It may offer you some valuable insight.

Breaking Up/Relationship In Crisis


Q from a Female, Junior student at University of Florida: I broke up with my boyfriend over a year ago, but I can't stop thinking about him. I've dated other guys, but nobody seriously. Will I ever get over him?

A: Probably. One year isn't really a long time to still be thinking about your old boyfriend, especially when you haven't established another serious relationship. It's important to look at why you still think about him. Is it the relationship with him that you miss, or just having a relationship? Why did you break up? Often times it can be easier to remember the good times with your boyfriend, while forgetting why the relationship didn't work out. Remember: One of our tasks in life is learning to let go. It's hard.

Why Do Women Always Want Serious Commitments?


Question from a male junior at MIT: Why do women always want serious commitments? I've never been able to have just a casual dating relationship with anyone I've ever dated.

Dr. Caron's Answer: I think it's true, generally, that many (not all) women prefer commitment to casual dating relationships. You should be clear with yourself about what you want in a relationship. If what you want is a casual friendship without a commitment, it is important to be clear about this both with yourself and the women you meet and date. Sometimes men implicitly make promises about "always being there" for the other person without realizing it. Some examples of "implicit" promises include statements such as, "You're really special," "I've never met anyone like you before," or "I can't wait to see you again." Think through your initial relationships of the past and see if you have made such promises, either verbally or nonverbally, in order to enhance you relationship at the time.

Ovulation & Sex


Q from a Female, first-year student from Triton College: How a girl can know when she's ovulating? And if the girl does not have an orgasm during sex, can she get pregnant even when she's ovulating?

Dr. Caron's Answer:

In terms of your first question, it can be really difficult to know when a girl is ovulating. Many people say that ovulation takes place about 12-14 days before menstruation. That means you can figure it out "after-the-fact" so to speak. For example, if a woman has a 28-day cycle, she is thought to ovulate around the 14th day. But this clearly varies from girl to girl. To help determine more precisely when ovulation takes place, you may want to learn Natural Family Planning - in which you take your basal body temperature each day and record it on a chart, along with charting what your cervical mucous looks like, and the feel of your cervix. Over time, a girl will be able to determine her ovulation as that time when her temperature drops, her mucus looks like egg white, and her cervix feels soft. It takes a bit of practice and a few months to figure out -there are many good books that explain it in greater detail. In terms of the second question, a girl can get pregnant dur!

ing intercourse if she is ovulating and there is semen ejaculated into/around the vagina. The sperm and egg could care less if you enjoy the act or not. So to answer your question: No, having an orgasm is not necessary for pregnancy.

I have inverted nipples


Question from a freshman female at the University of North Texas: This is not directly about sex, but close enough. I have inverted nipples and am so nervous about how other people will react to them when I begin to get sexually active. I know I should be "proud" of my body, which I am, but I feel so strange and different. I don't want guys to scream and run away. I heard there is a surgery that can fix them. Is this true and where can I get more information?

Dr. Caron's Answer: Despite what is presented in the media, inverted nipples are normal. Just as women's breasts come in all different shapes and sizes, their nipples do as well: they may be flat, raised, or inverted - all are common. I believe you are in a good position to educate your partner about how every body is unique - and that includes yours. Just like belly buttons, nipples also range in appearance. And I certainly hope your partner will be interested in having a relationship with you, not a body part!

If you are seriously interested in looking into surgery in an attempt to alter your nipples, there is plastic surgery. You can talk to a medical doctor (such as a gynecologist or someone who specializes in women's health) about this option. However, be forewarned: it is very expensive, often leads to loss of sensitivity and ability to become aroused, and can also interfere with your ability to breastfeed later on. Ask yourself: Is it really worth it? I hope you will recognize the gift your uniqueness and learn to accept and celebrate it

Question from a student at University of Memphis: How long has abortion been legal? Up to what month can a girl have an abortion?

Dr. Caron's Answer: In 1973 the Roe vs. Wade decision legalized a woman's right to obtain an abortion from a qualified physician. However, what many people may not realize is that the decision talked about this right in terms of trimesters of pregnancy.

During the first trimester of pregnancy (when over 90% of abortions are performed in this country), a women can request (sometimes called "demand") an abortion; however, during the second trimester, she can only get an abortion with a physician's consent. During the third trimester, an abortion is only permitted in extreme cases - for example, to save the life of the mother or when the fetus has died in utero.

Desire/Arousal


Q from a Male, First-Year student at University of Oklahoma: Can being in good physical condition increase your desire to have sex?

A: There are many positive benefits to being in good physical condition. Feeling fit helps us feel better about a lot of things. We often feel better about ourselves when we feel we look our best. Being in good shape often leads to positive feelings about life; our desire for many things increases.

Q from a Female, Senior student at Syracuse University: What can I do when I want to make love, but my partner isn't "in the mood"? How can I get him in the mood?

A: Loving relationships thrive on mutual respect. I am not sure that you can make anybody feel romantic and sexy just because that's the time you're feeling romantic and sexy. Generally, "turn-ons" for men include caring, touch, warm shared feelings, and the interest in mutual respect.

He Goes so Deep He Hits Bone


Question from a sophomore female at the University of Minnesota Duluth: When my boyfriend and I were having sex he tried to reach, go in as far as he could. Anyways, he touched something in me that felt like a bone or something solid, I felt it too. I thought it hurt or caused some pressure that was extremely new to me. Do you have any idea on what he was feeling and why I could feel it too. Thanks for your time.

Dr. Caron's answer: I assume that what you and he touched was your cervix. I often tell students that if you reach up into your vagina you will feel something that feels like the end of your nose.... it is the base of the uterus. You may also notice that it feels like it has a dimple. This is the opening into the uterus (the cervical os) - which is about the size of a pencil lead. It allows menstrual flow to leave the uterus, and allows sperm to enter the uterus on its way to the fallopian tube to meet an egg.

If you feel the cervix at different times over the course of a month, you will notice that it changes from feeling very hard to feeling softer at different times of the month. For example, around ovulation (when a women releases an egg from her ovary - usually occurs about 2 weeks before her period), it will feel softer. In fact, one of the things women do who are using Natural Family Planning, is to record the changes in the cervix (as well as temperature and mucous changes). I hope this relieves some of your anxiety. You may also find it useful to refer to a basic biology book to understand the positioning and structure of all your reproductive/sexual organs. Best wishes

Penis Size


Question from a senior male student at UCSD: I've always wanted to have a longer penis, my sexual partners hardly reach orgasm, is it the performance or the size of my penis? If the size doesn't matter, how can I improve it? If the size really matters, then what is your advice?

Dr. Caron's answer: Woody Allen once said that he was the only man he knew who suffered penis envy. I think he was wrong. It's fairly common for men to worry about their penis size. Some people have suggested that since the growth of the penis is one of the marks of puberty, somehow the association between penis size and manhood is made. Unfortunately, men's magazine's frequently advertise penis enlargers which exploit male anxieties (and don't work, by the way!). In it's unerect or unaroused state the penis is usually between 2-1/2 to 4 inches. In it's erect state the penis is usually 5 to 7 inches. Some are slightly smaller, some are slightly larger. It's important to know there is no relationship between the size of a man's penis and his ability to have sexual intercourse or to excite his partner. A larger penis will not make a woman have an orgasm any more that a smaller one will. The clitoris is located outside and above the entrance to the vagina. Perhaps talking with your partner about what would feel good to lead her to orgasm (in terms of touching or techniques) would be helpful.

Long Distant Relationships


Question from a freshman male student at Berkeley College: My current girlfriend of 8 months is going away to Boston University. And she wants to stay with me when she does go away...And im afraid that she is going to play me, because thats what people tell me all the time that when a girl who dorms away and has a boyfriend, it really doesnt last. She told me she is not that type of girl to do that. And i asked her if she wants to be single during her first year of college and she said no...but i dont know if i know that she wont play me when she goes away to college.

Dr. Caron's Answer: While long distance relationships can be tough, some of the best ones are based on a solid foundation of friendship - which you are building with her now. I would trust her when she says she wants to continue your relationship rather than listen to what other people who are outside your relationship are saying. You are dating her - not them. While you are right about how sometimes being apart does not "make the heart grow fonder", on the other hand, a relationship that has a solid foundation of trust, honesty, love and caring can continue to flourish despite the distance. While there are no guarantees of faithfulness or longevity in any relationship - whether she stayed with you on the west coast or moved to the east coast by herself, it will be important to keep the lines of communication open. It may be useful to talk with her about how you are going to handle the logistics of this relationship - phoning, e-mail, visits, and spending school breaks together, as well as the long term plans for being together down the road. This may ease some concerns you have about losing her. You may also want to spend some time examining your own expectations for a dating relationship. Perhaps you would prefer to have a relationship with someone who is physically located where you are - someone to spend time with , play with, touch... it will be important to explore your own desires for a relationship and determine if a long-distance one is suited for your needs as well. Best wishes.

It is hard being a virgin in college


Question from a male sophomore at student at the University of Tennessee -- Knoxville: It strikes me odd, but for some reason, being a virgin is a huge turn-off for most women that I meet. Why? Do they think that since I am a virgin, no one else wants me, so I'm worthless? Or, are they just thinking with their sexual desires instead of their head? Either way, it is hard being a virgin in college. Thanks.

Dr. Caron's Answer: You're right - it can be difficult being a virgin in college -when it feels like “everyone is doing it” when in fact, they are not. I think it has to do with the messages we receive from the media about sexuality and relationships, as well as peer pressure. For example: If intimacy equals sex, as some believe, then people who don't engage in sexual intercourse are automatically defined as leading very dull lives. With this argument, virginity is then a state we want to leave. This view is too simplistic, only serving to pressure people to have sexual intercourse.

I think this is true especially when we look at how we socialize boys. We give many, many messages to boys as they are growing up to be competent, to be knowledgeable, and to be in charge - in such areas as sports, social performance, etc. As a result, both men and women assume all guys are supposed to know and be competent in everything - even in sexual matters - before they have the experience. If he is not experienced sexually, some people (men and women) may view him as different and ask “what is wrong with him?” when there is nothing wrong at all.

It is important to remember that virginity, like sexual activity, is a matter of choice. It sounds like some of the women you have met have forgotten this point. Some men and women choose to wait until they are in what they consider a long-term relationship before they become sexually involved and some do not. Being a virgin does not mean you are not sexual, or that you do not have an intimate relationship; virginity is an acceptable alternative to sexual intercourse. What is best for you is for you alone to decide. Remember: You are in charge of your own body.

Question from a male senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: I'm in a relationship that has lasted almost a year. I feel I am in love with my girlfriend but I am not sexually attracted to her. We have even talked about getting engaged and I'm wondering if our relationship can last without the physical part being there. Male, Senior

Dr. Caron’s Answer: It sounds like you have a nice friendship going with this woman. However, I don't believe you can have a long-lasting romantic relationship with someone you aren't attracted to. What is interesting is that your question is almost the reverse of what many people worry about who say, "All we have is sex, sex, sex - Is that enough of a basis for a long-term relationship?" I guess I'm wondering what you would like in a relationship. Do you wish it were different? Have you ever experienced sexual attraction to another person you were involved with? I am also concerned about why there is no attraction? How does your partner feel about this? Is she okay with the relationship as it stands? or does she feel rejected? What are her expectations for the future? Again, I am referring to sexual attraction, not sexual activity; you can have one without the other. I think sometimes people avoid the sexual part to avoid intimacy or connection: Since you know you won't be that close, you can protect yourself - keep yourself at a physical and emotional distance. I also wonder if part of your lack of sexual attraction for your partner concerns a fear of sex itself. Have you experienced some type of trauma or hurt feelings around sex? I think you are right to ask yourself now if this lack of sexual attraction is going to be a concern for the future. Ignoring it will not make it go away. These are just some of the issues you may want to look at with a professional. Talking with someone you can trust will give you the perspective you need to make important decisions. Including your partner in these conversations will be essential. Good luck!

My boyfriend doesn't get into sex


Question from a female sophomore at student at Michigan State University: I feel that my boyfriend doesn't get into sex, or isn't turned on. What can I do to make it better?

Dr. Caron's Answer: What do you want to do? It sounds to me like you may have a fine platonic relationship. One where you enjoy being with this person, but you do not share sexual experiences. How does your boyfriend feel about this? Is this something he is happy with? I suggest you sit down together and discuss the relationship openly and see if you are in agreement.

It might be important to examine if your perception of his lack of interest has been this way all along, or if this is something that you see as a more recent change? That may help guide the conversation you have with him. If he refuses to talk about it, you'll have to think about your own needs and options. For example, is it worth it to stay in a relationship that is not meeting your needs?

I am interested to know if you have been together for quite awhile and this is something that you have observed over time. If so, it is important to recognize that anything that is routine, which happens over and over again in the same exact way, becomes boring or stale. Even sex. If that is your situation, you may want to talk about how you might spice up the relationship: changing your positions, places, and times; adding little surprises; doing the things that used to turn you on which have now fallen to the side. It's important to find ways to vary your experiences - this means communicating and negotiating with your partner.

Finally, recognize that loving relationships thrive on mutual respect. I am not sure that you can make anybody feel turned on and interested because you're feeling turned on and interested. Generally, "turn-ons" for men include caring, touch, shared feelings, and the interest in mutual respect. Best wishes.

Soreness After Sex


Question from a male junior at student at York College of Pennsylvania: After having sex, my partner often complains that she is sore in the area around the vagina, but she is constantly telling me that I am gentle with her. What is it that I could be doing wrong, or better, what is it that I could be doing right?

Dr. Caron's Answer: Showing concern for your partner sounds like something you are certainly doing right!! For many women, lack of lubrication can create soreness around the vaginal opening - typically felt after intercourse. I wonder if this is what is happening in your situation. If so, this may indicate you might want to spend more time on what some people call "foreplay" - or outercourse - other things besides just intercourse (oral sex, genital touching, caressing). If she is sufficiently "turned on" but finds that her lubrication is not as much as you both desire, try purchasing a water-based lubricant such as Astroglide or KY jelly. This should help decrease any soreness caused by lack of lubrication. If she still feels sore after intercourse, have her visit a health care provider for a gyn exam. Perhaps there is a slight yeast infection building that is causing some irritation - this will be easily treated.

Best wishes!

Question from a Male, Sophomore at University of Connecticut: I've been a best friend with this girl for two years. I'm starting to develop stronger feelings for her now and I believe she feels the same way. How do I break the ice and not ruin the friendship if things don't work out?

Dr. Caron’s Answer: As with any relationship, a person must often take risks to move forward. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that things will work out. However, it is helpful that you have already established a friendship. But before you talk with her about how you're feeling, I suggest you think about how you'll feel if she says she just wants to continue to be friends. Will you be able to continue the friendship? I would guess that if your friendship is important to both of you, you will be able to work things out.

Painful Sex


Question from a female junior at student at the University of Calgary:

I have a question for a friend of mine. He has recently been dating this woman. She states that she has never had an orgasm before. She has not had sex in 2 years. When my friend and her went to have intercourse, he said that it was very painful for her. They tried Vaseline and lubrication from the drugstore, but it didn't seem to alleviate the pain. Any suggestions as to why or how they can prevent future reoccurrences of this painful event.

Dr. Caron's Answer: Your question raises several issues. One issue is the pain this woman is experiencing with intercourse. I would like to know if she has always experienced pain, or if it is just now with this new partner. If she has always experienced pain, an appointment with a gynecologist would be recommended to rule out a physical concern. Assuming it is not physical, you say they have tried lubricants but that did not seem to help relieve the pain. The choice to use a lubricant indicates a possible arousal issue. In order for her own body to produce sufficient lubrication, she needs to feel desire, trust, and affection for her partner.

You say this is a new relationship. Perhaps their emotional intimacy needs to be further developed before they proceed with physical intimacy. One suggestion is for them to try to expand their definition of sex - thinking of it as more than just intercourse. Certainly slowing things down, focusing less on intercourse and reaching orgasm, and more on the pleasure of giving will help. It is also important that she have control in the sexual situation so that should penetration take place, she is guiding that process and finding the position that is best for her. [Note: Use of a water-based lubricant is advised (e.g., Astroglide, K-Y jelly); oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline are not recommended.]

The other issue you raise is about her inexperience (you say she has not had sex in several years and she has never had an orgasm). This can certainly relate to her lack of arousal, and any anxiety or stress she may be placing on the sexual aspect of their relationship. It sounds like she (and maybe even he) does not know much about her own sexual functioning. For example, some people do not realize that the clitoris is strategically located outside and above the vaginal opening. For many women, stimulation around this area is essential for reaching orgasm. Such stimulation does not require intercourse or a penis. It's important for a woman to first find out for herself what feels good and then gently show her partner. Many men (and women) have been told that "real sex" means "penis-in-vagina" only; many of us recognize that sex involves much more than this.

Overall, I think there is something to be said about the importance of this couple to talk to one another openly about what they are experiencing. Sexual communication is both an important and necessary aspect of any relationship. Couples that explore each other's need and desires enhance the satisfaction experienced in an intimate relationship. However, many couples choose to overlook the possibilities that open communication implies. Lack of or ineffective communication is a leading cause of sexual dysfunction. Talking about sex is not always easy, but it is necessary. Communication not only alleviates anxiety, but also heightens sexual pleasure. One might start by asking, "What do you like?" or "What feels good to you?" The bedroom may not be the best place to start this conversation. Although communication is sometimes difficult, it is essential to a healthy and growing relationship.

Safest Brand of Condoms


Question from a senior male student at Central Washington University. What is the safest brand of condoms to use? Also, if possible could you give me a list of ratings that condoms got for being safe?

Dr. Caron's Answer: There are more than 100 brands of condoms available in the United States today. Latex condoms are the most effective method for reducing the risk of infection from HIV that cause AIDS, as well as other STDs. For people who are sensitive to latex, polyurethane condoms are a good alternative. Some condoms are pre-lubricated. These lubricants do not increase birth control or STD protection. Non-oil-based lubricants, such as water or K-Y jelly, can be used with latex or lambskin condoms. Do not use oil-based lubricants with a latex condom (such as petroleum jelly/Vaseline, lotions, or massage or baby oil) because they can weaken the condom and cause it to break.

The FDA, which regulates condoms as a medical device, reviews production records and examines stock at random. Should leaks turn up on 4 per 1000 condoms in a run, the entire lot is thrown out. It is important to know that an estimated 2-5% of condoms tear during use. Most of those failures are thought to stem from misuse, not inherent product flaws. That’s why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides directions on the importance of consistent and correct use of condoms, including: use a condom with every act of intercourse from start to finish store in cool place, check expiration date, open carefully, use a new condom every time, put condom on erect penis before it touches any part of partner’s body, be sure to leave a reservoir tip, withdraw soon after ejaculation while still erect.

Consumer Reports has also tested the effectiveness of condoms. Their report in 1999 tested 30 models of latex condoms major brands and small brands, in different sizes, textures, and lubricants, some promoting extra thinness or strength. Only 2 products of the 30 failed their tests: Durex Pure Protection Spermicidally Lubricated and Trojan Plus 2 Spermicidal so avoid those 2 products!

All of the following passed their minimum burst standards, as well as their higher threshold test, so these would be brands to consider purchasing:

Lubricated condoms that did well:

Beyond Seven, Class Act Ultra Thin & Sensitive, Durex Extra Sensitive, and Trojan Ultra Thin are thinner than most. Trojan Magnum is longer and wider than most. Kimono Microthin is longer and thinner than most. Lifestyles Vibra Ribbed, Trojan Ultra Texture, and Trojan Ribbed are textured condoms. Durex Enhanced Pleasure, Lifestyles Extra Pleasure, and Trojan Ultra Pleasure are uniquely shaped. Trojan Shared Sensation is textured and uniquely shaped.

Unlubricated condoms that did well:

Trojan has a plain end; Trojan-Enz has a nipple shaped reservoir like all other condoms in the ratings.

Importance of a Condom


Question from a female sophomore at Arizona State University: I know it's important to ask your sexual partner to wear a condom, but how should I approach the issue? I'm not comfortable discussing it.

Dr. Caron's Answer: Anyone you know well enough to be sleeping with, you should know well enough to talk about protection with. However, I recognize that talking about sex has never been easy. In fact, some people even think it's wrong or that it ruins the mood. But in this age of "fatal sexuality" - where people can die from unprotected sexual intercourse - it is crucial that you talk about using condoms. Forethought before Foreplay is essential: Talk with your partner before you end up in bed. You might try bringing up the subject by saying, "Gee, I keep hearing all this stuff about AIDS and safer sex. What do you think?" Or, "I'd love to make love with you, but I'm worried about disease." Talk about your need to have sex safely. If he's a former Boy Scout, he'll understand the concept of being prepared. If he's ever played sports he'll understand how important it is to wear protective gear before you play the game.

Question from a student at Fanshawe College: In the heat of the moment, I forgot to remove my tampon before me and my boyfriend had sex...now it's gone...what do I do now?

Dr. Caron's Answer: If you are sure you did not take it out before intercourse, then it is not "gone" as you say - it is in there somewhere - most likely pushed up/crammed to the top of your vagina, next to your cervix. If you or your partner are unable to reach it when you are squatting and one of you inserts a finger into your vagina, I suggest you seek some medical assistance. It is not uncommon to have a woman contact a health center and ask for assistance in removing a tampon. If you just leave it there, it can create an environment that leads to infection - and you will be seeking medical assistance at that point to relieve the infection. Better now than later. Best wishes!

© 2002, Sandra L. Caron

Resources
Related Issues:
Sexuality, Gay/Bi/Trans, Teen Sex , Talking With Kids About Tough Issues
Journals - on Sexual Abuse and Trauma
Periodicals -Gay/Bi
Books
Sexuality, Gay/bi, and Transgender.

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Sex is much bigger than genitals. It's a matter of sensory awareness, living in the physical world and reacting to it in a sensory way. - Camille Paglia



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