The Wave
December 2003

The Zen Of Masturbation

I’m a guy who recently got a nasty case of poison oak all over his “party package” (if you know what I mean). The itching and swelling were terrible. My entire crotch looked like a radioactive wasteland. Anyway, I’m feeling much better now and everything seems to in good, working order. But this is the second time this has happened to me and I’m wondering if there is any risk to my reproductive system should it happen again.

Dr. Ava’s Answer:
Sorry to hear about your swollen, itchy party package, but I’m glad it’s back to it’s normal, happy self. You’re obviously susceptible to getting the case of poison oak so you must find out what you can do to prevent this from happening again. The best advice I can give you is to treat your penis like a God. Protect him from overexposure to heat, always wear a condom when you have sex and keep him squeaky clean. Also certain medications can boost a nasty flare up of the party package area. I don’t think it’s going to affect your reproductive system, but I recommend you visit a urologist and get a full party package check-up.

I have really thin walls in my apartment and it’s easy to hear my neighbors’ TVs, arguments, or even their showers. It’s also easy to hear one neighbor in particular having really loud, passionate sex. At first it was embarrassing, and maybe even a bit annoying, but recently it’s become a really big turn on and I end up pleasuring myself every time I hear them go at it (twice a week, sometimes more). Maybe it’s because I haven’t had sex with anyone in a while or maybe I’m just sick. I don’t know. I’ve never been a voyeur before and I’m nervous I’m developing some new kink I won’t be able to get rid of when I do finally start having sex again. I guess what I’m saying is, is this behavior normal?

Dr. Ava’s Answer:
Let me put your mind at rest by letting you know that you are not sick and your behavior is natural and normal. Who wouldn’t get turned on by hearing noises of passionate sex? Actually, this experience has probably expanded your sexual horizon so think of it as a gift, weird, as it may seem. When you do find the right person to have sex with, tape record your lovemaking and then play it back. In the meantime, continue to pleasure yourself without feeling any guilt and remember that masturbation is good for your health. Masturbation is a major stress reliever. It keeps your sexual organs in good working order. For men it recharges the penis with tissue nourishing oxygen and empties built up secretions in the prostate. The women it spring-cleans the uterus. Sort of like a sneeze, cleaning out your nose.

My boyfriend’s daughter caught us having sex… Only it wasn’t just humping sex — I was tied to the bed, naked, blindfolded with my bra and wearing a Santa Claus hat. And here’s the weirdest thing — my boyfriend was just sitting on the edge of the bed (naked, of course), looking at me squirm on the bed, when all of a sudden his 12-year-old daughter burst into the room. Later, she told her grandma all about it. I don’t know what to do. My boyfriend refuses to talk about it, and I’ve been too embarrassed to go near his daughter, let alone his mother who I just met two weeks ago. Any advice on how to handle the situation?

Dr. Ava’s Answer:
Question: I hope you and your boyfriend have learned the valuable lesson of locking the bedroom door the next time you have sex. I’m very disappointed in him for refusing to talk about the fact that his daughter burst in on you. What does he think, that it was your fault? The best scenario would be if he and you sat down with his 12-year-old daughter and explained that you were having some adult playtime together. She’s old enough to understand that adult couples make love. The fact that you were tied to the bed, blindfolded and wearing a Santa hat may be an image that she’ll remember for a long time, but this is an opportunity for some open, honest talk about human sexuality. Educate her about the pros and cons of sex. Tell her that sex is a precious gift for someone you love. Explain that sex is more than two people making babies. Sex can be fun, playful and silly. Tell your boyfriend that if he doesn’t talk to you about it, that you are going to talk to his mother and his daughter without him.

I’m a 35-year-old male in a relationship with a woman for three years. We have sex A LOT. She mentioned the other day that she thinks we’re sexaholics. My question: How can one tell if they’re a sexaholic? I mean, I really, really like sex and will have sex with my partner as much as possible, sometimes to the point of us both being really sore. But I don’t like the term “sexaholic” much because, let’s face it, it’s not a compliment.

Dr. Ava’s Answer:
A sexaholic is someone that has a compulsive sexual disorder and can’t control him or herself. Here are the symptoms of a sexaholic:

[1] Do you think about sex so often that it interferes with you concentration?
[2] Are you obsessed with a specific person or sexual act even though it brings you cravings and discomfort?
[3] Are you finding your sexual pursuits affecting your ability to manage your life?
[4] Do you HAVE to flirt?
[5] Do you feel you are entitled to sex?
[6] Would life have no meaning without sex?
[7] Do you think that sex is the only thing that really gives you value?
[8] Do you use sex as an escape from other problems, or stress?
[9] Have you ever had sex with someone you really didn’t want to?
[10] Do you keep a list of the partners you have been with?
[11] Do you need the “high” that the dangerous sex and the risk of being caught can promise?

If your answer to all these questions is “yes,” then you are a sex addict and suffer from sexual compulsion. Somehow, I don’t think you and your girlfriend fit into that category.

I have been dating one guy steadily for about three months now. We have a pretty healthy relationship: we like a lot of the same stuff, laugh a lot, we get along with each other and even each other’s friends. We’re not in love or anything, but we have a good time and I think we have a good sex life. The other night though, we were having sex “doggy style” and he stopped for a moment and then, without asking me or saying anything, he tried to, you know, “slip it in the back door.” I stopped him before he got too far, but I had no idea he was interested in such an act and I have certainly never seriously considered it. I don’t think it would excite me, but he seemed very interested, although we still haven’t really talked about it. Now things are a little awkward sexually and I feel like he may be losing interest. It’s starting to seem like his primary interest in our relationship was just to engage in sexual experimentation, but he may just be feeling guilty or awkward himself. I can’t tell. I don’t understand why a guy would want to do that with a woman and why he never mentioned it before. I want to talk about it, but I feel like he should be approaching me about his sexual interests, at least before he tries to engage in them, especially if I’m likely not to be interested. Am I being too uptight about trying new things sexually? Do you think having anal sex with me is really that important for him to have in our relationship?

Dr. Ava’s Answer:
Anal sex can be both scary and erotic, but nobody should try to do it without talking about it first. Since your boyfriend is a communication wimp, you are going to have to take the initiative and bring up the subject. The next time you are ready to have sex with him, ask him if he’s ever had anal sex with a woman before? If he says, “Yes” then ask him what turns him on most about anal. You’ll find out if he likes it because it’s taboo, or if it’s because the anus is tighter than the vagina or maybe he’s just into controlling women. Let him know that you are willing to be experimental sexually, but you need to be prepared by discussing it before doing it. It’s all about respecting your partner. Also let him know that when embarking on anal sex for the first time with someone, you need to start out slowly by inserting a pinky, then a forefinger barely moving so that the muscles have time to adjust. A condom is essential when inserting the penis into the anus and one must never ever insert the penis from the anus into the vagina without changing condoms first. Finally, ask him if having anal sex with you is crucial to your relationship. If he says, “Yes” dump him.