THE PROBLEM: ‘Hi, Christine. My name’s Rachel. I’ve got a wonderful boyfriend. He’s clever, funny and kind. He’s a solicitor and earns a good salary. And he’s generous with it. He’s always buying me presents. The only problem is that he’s hopeless at sex. But he doesn’t know it. What can I do? I don’t want to upset him’.
Christine: Do you think he has any serious sexual hang-ups? Does he, for example, have any problem about touching you intimately, or with you touching his penis or testicles?
Rachel: Not at all. He’s very enthusiastic. But he doesn’t seem to know anything about what turns a woman on.
Christine: You mean he hasn’t a clue about the clitoris?
Rachel: Yes, that. And other things …
Christine: Like what?
Rachel: Well, I feel embarrassed talking about it, but basically when we have intercourse he often pulls out at the last moment and shoots his semen over my stomach.
Christine: He’s not worried about getting you pregnant, is he?
Rachel: No, I’m on The Pill.
Christine: Has he ever ejaculated on your face?
Rachel: Oh God. How did you guess that? He was going to one night, but I stopped him. He looked bewildered. I’m sure he thought I’d like it.
Christine: I think what this indicates is that your boyfriend has got most, if not all, of his sex education from internet porn. And he’s not alone. Masses of guys aged about 35 and under are in the same boat. Of course this kind of porn doesn’t teach guys what women want in bed. It’s about offering stimulating stuff that they can masturbate to. And all that spraying of semen outside the body happens because the porn industry thinks it turns men on and proves that the sex is real. Unfortunately, as a result, loads of guys think that that’s what should happen in their love lives – and women the world over are having to explain to them that it’s not!
Rachel: I don’t think he’s into porn now, but he did say that he watched a lot when he was younger. He told me he hasn’t had many girlfriends. He said that he was very academic as a boy and determined to get a good degree and a professional career and that he came to dating rather late. Also, it probably didn’t help him that he went to a posh boys-only school.
Christine: Mmmn. OK, so, there are guys who are hopeless at sex because they are seriously inhibited – usually because they’ve had a very strict upbringing. Do you think this is his problem?
Christine: There are others who are just plain selfish and only care about their own pleasure. Is this him?
Rachel: Definitely not.
Christine: Right. So it seems like we’re simply dealing with a situation where he doesn’t know enough about sex. There’s no shame in that. None of us is born with this knowledge. Could you talk to him about it?
Rachel: I think so, but I don’t want to sound too critical, because he is so nice …
Christine: OK, well maybe you should just say something like ‘I really like you and I think we get on great, but I wondered if we could do some things sexually that might help me to have a better time?’
Rachel: I could do that.
Christine: Try to explain to him that women are built differently from men and that humping away during sexual intercourse does not ‘light the fire’ for many women, and that what a large proportion of us need is oral sex, or other types of love-play such as fingering of the clitoris, if we’re going to have a climax.
Christine: What might help is to explain to him that the clitoris is the equivalent of the penis, and that, in fact, a woman’s clitoris is what would have turned into a penis had she developed into a boy-baby in the womb rather than a girl.
Rachel: I’d never thought of it in that way. I think he’d totally get that.
Christine: I also suggest you read The New Joy of Sex (from Amazon) together. This is an updated version of the original 1970s book by Alex Comfort. The re-writing was done by relationship psychologist Susan Quilliam, and she did a great job.
You could both also do some sex-shopping for lubrication, sex toys, erotic books etc. from one of the online sex shops for women run by women. Good ones online are Passion8 and Sh!. Better still, if you can get to Hoxton in North London, go to the original Sh! Store. Your man can go in too – so long as he accompanies you. They don’t allow any lone blokes!
Rachel: I like the idea that we’re going to learn stuff together rather than me having to say ‘You’re crap in bed.’
Christine: Yes, well, I know from the men I see in my consulting room that many of them are terribly sensitive about criticism of their equipment or their performance. So – as this is a really nice guy – I think the kinder you can be, the better results you’ll get.
Rachel: Thanks, Christine. Anything else?
Christine: Well, the sex and relationship material on Netdoctor.co.uk, which I write with my own husband, Dr David Delvin, is always up to date and accurate. And there’s also a very good and fun website called The Lovers’ Guide which you could also enjoy visiting together. Have fun. And good luck in making the sexual part of your relationship as good as the rest of it.
Christine Webber is a former TV news presenter. Since 1995, she has been an award-winning health writer. She is also a psychotherapist with a practice in Harley Street. She holds diplomas in integrative psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy. And she also has numerous coaching qualifications. Christine is the author of 12 self-help and therapy books. Find out more at christinewebber.com
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