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Dear Andrea:

My boyfriend has not been coming during vaginal sex. I finally asked him if we hadn't given him enough recovery time between go-rounds and he said yes. Thing is, it happens when we haven't had sex in a day or so. I want to let him be the expert on his own penis, but I also worry that he's not telling me about a problem.

He initiates sex often, even when I think he's probably still too soft from the last time and should wait. I'll suggest fooling around more, etc., but it's frustrating to be constantly saying "no" and "wait" and "how about a blow job first?" Up to this point it's been fantastic, and though I gained a few pounds over the holidays, I am dieting and he claims to find me attractive.

Love,

Unwilling Expert

Dear Ex:

Of course he finds you attractive. However much of that horrible green bean and Campbell's soup casserole you may have consumed back in December has nothing to do with it, or with anything, really.

I think letting him be "the expert on his own penis" is an excellent plan; why don't you do that? If he tries to accomplish "intromission" (sex books don't really use words like "intromission" anymore, do they?) and he's not quite up to it, surely he has the good sense to wait a few moments without any advice from you? And if he does get it in there and can't come, does he simply flail away until the morning alarm goes off, or does he give up after a while, allowing you to step in with a heroic blow job to save the day?

It's not that I want you to be a passive recipient of whatever passes for sex chez you, far from it. It's just that you're overthinking this. If you really believe he might be concealing some secret shame or unnerving health problem then ask him about it, but not while he's actually in the process of using the penis he's supposed to be the expert on. Never works.

Love,

Andrea

Dear Andrea:

I can only orgasm from vaginal penetration and usually do so between one and five times. I rarely come during oral sex; I can probably count the times on both hands in the past 20 years. I feel like I'm disappointing my boyfriend — he says most women he's been with come this way and thinks it's a little odd that I can't. Is this psychological in some way or is it just the way my body works? I don't know if this matters or not, but I was sexually molested by an older female when I was eight. I'm way past it, but not sure if it may have something to do with it. I'd like to understand my own body and not feel like the odd woman out.

Love,

Backwards

Dear Back:

Nobody's ever satisfied! It's true, as far as it goes, that far more women can climax easily from oral sex than from intercourse. It is also essentially meaningless. Most of those women spend at least some small proportion of their free time bellyaching to girlfriends or sex advice columnists that they can't come from intercourse, anyway.

If your long-ago abuser did do something oral sex–like to you then it is certainly possible that your body just doesn't want any truck with it, and who could blame it? You could consult a therapist but do be careful — it sounds as though you have made your peace with the events of your childhood, and it may be best, in the long run, simply to leave that particular hornet's nest alone.