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I'm 21 years old and in a monogamous relationship. I was drawn to BDSM even before I began having sex, and my boyfriend has been happily fulfilling my needs. However, he revealed that he also enjoys being submissive. I asked him to explain what he was looking for, but he said he'd rather show me. Recently he tried to steer a sex session in that direction, but I felt self-conscious, like I was failing a pop quiz. How do I become more comfortable with being a dom? Or am I just not cut out for this?

Not Quite A Dom

 

There are a lot of skilled, confident BDSM tops out there who got into it for the same reason you've started: to please a submissive and/or switch partner.

But "show me" is not how a couple incorporates BDSM into their sex life. Maybe he's having a hard time articulating his desires because he's shy, or he mistakenly believes that sex -- even logistically complicated sex -- should just "happen naturally."

So here's my first tip: Force him to talk about what he's interested in. What goes on during a sexual encounter involving BDSM has to be specifically and explicitly negotiated. If he's too shy to talk face-to-face, do it over email. If he doesn't feel comfortable sending emails (they live forever on a server, they can be forwarded), tell him to you write you a letter, read it in his presence, then tear it up.

Second tip: The less a newbie dom has to fake, the less daunting the role feels. Instead of pretending that you're experienced, incorporate what's really going on -- your boyfriend is so submissive that he's submitting to his submissive girlfriend, and how perverted is that? -- into your play and dirty talk. Then your unfamiliarity becomes something you're bringing to the scene, not something that's causing you to fail at it.

Third tip: A blindfold is an inexperienced dom's best friend. (Not ready to visit your local BDSM sex shoppe? An ACE bandage will do the trick.) You'll feel less self-conscious if he can't see you fumbling with rope, suppressing a nervous giggle or searching for a mislaid key to the handcuffs.

 

I recently made friends with a guy who is in his first sexual relationship. He comes to me with questions, and I try to make sure he's informed and being safe. But he's asked me a question that I don't know how to answer: What should a man do when he's about to ejaculate during oral sex? I feel like there should be a polite version of "Where do you want it?" that a guy can say to a woman, but I'll be damned if I can think of it.

Sexual Advice Xactly Our Need

 

When your friend is getting close -- when he's approaching "orgasmic inevitability," as sex researchers call it -- he should say, "I'm getting close." (Duh, right?) And just as he's passing the point of orgasmic inevitability -- his mother kicking down the bedroom door couldn't keep him from ejaculating -- he should say, "I'm coming."

At that moment, the blowjob bestower can remove the dick from her mouth and point it at her tits or over her shoulder or at his mother. Or she can leave it in her mouth, and decide if she wants to spit or swallow. She's the decider.

 

I'm a 24-year-old straight girl, and vaginal sex does nothing for me. I've never been molested and I don't take pills. I feel pleasure in other parts of my body and experience clitoral orgasms, but getting fucked by a dick is about as interesting as a finger in a fist. 

Is there scientific research about this? Is there hope? Or do I just have to learn to deal? Also, at what point do I tell my partners I have this malfunction?

Wrong Type Freak

 

"I'd recommend that she spend some time exploring her vagina, trying different positions, experimenting with placing pressure on the posterior and anterior walls of her vagina, and with friction on her cervix," says Meredith Chivers, an assistant professor of psychology, a clinical psychologist, and a sexuality researcher at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. "The best position to do all this is with her on top, controlling the speed, depth and trajectory -- for lack of a better word -- of the thrusts, and pairing this with clitoral stimulation."

Chivers also recommends that you warm up with lots of oral sex, toys, masturbation and the other stuff you enjoy. That way you'll be "engorged, erect and lubricated, and subjectively turned on" before penetration.

Chivers also wonders if you've discovered your G-spot. "For some women, G-spot stim is associated with experiencing intense ‘vaginal' orgasms and ejaculating." Finding the G-spot can be tricky, Chivers adds, and it's best to attempt it when you're very aroused. "Stimulate the anterior wall of the vagina [side nearest the belly button] about 5 centimeters in," says Chivers, by using a "come here" motion with the index finger.

And if you try all of that -- or if you've already tried that -- and it doesn't work?

"Perhaps it simply is the case that for her vaginal penetration is not all that fulfilling," says Chivers. "I would strongly recommend that she reinterpret her lack of interest in vaginal sex as a preference -- one that is not uncommon -- and not a malfunction.

"As for telling her partners," adds Chivers, "I suppose it depends on the nature of the relationship and whether or not she's willing to have vaginal sex to satisfy her partner."

In other words, if penetration doesn't cause you distress -- if it's something you can take or leave -- tell a new partner early on about your preference for other forms of sex. Then indulge the dude in vaginal intercourse when you're up for it, or he's desperate for it, while incorporating lots of clitoral stimulation.

Follow Chivers -- and learn from her -- on Twitter @QSagelab. 

 

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage

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