Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ask the Sex Doc: College Sex 101, Ye Old Tickle Dick, and the mysterious male nipple

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 12:42 PM

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Got a question for Sarah and Dr. Debby? Email us at askthesexdoc@nuvo.net, or use our magical, anonymous Tumblr Inbox


Ye Old Tickle Dick

Last weekend, I asked my BF to put on a vibrating cock ring because a friend of mine told me it was amazing. I got on top and really enjoyed how it felt and how hard it made him, but after a while he started giggling because he confessed it actually tickled a lot. We had to take it off bc he couldn’t keep it together and that was pretty awkward even if it was pretty hilarious to watch. Do you have any recommendations for cock rings that would give me some stimulation without making my BF feel like “there are ants all over his dick?”  — Anonymous, 
from our anonymous Tumblr inbox

Sarah: Damn. I’m genuinely sad for you right now, as the vibrating cock ring is quite literally the perfect marriage of man and machine. But the experience of Ye Old Tickle Dick not an unusual one, after questioning a few of my friends. I bet the issue here is the level of vibration, which can completely alter the sensation of the ring itself. In other words, dear reader, you might have to just have to buy a whole bunch of them and see which one gives you the right vibe. Also, let’s break down the components of the vibrating cock ring: vibration and, uhh, constriction, ie, rock-hardness. There are plenty of ways to achieve this final result with a two-piece setup; just get a regular ring and a bullet vibrator and DIY that vibration. Blammo, solved it.

Dr. Debby Herbenick: There is no sex toy that works for everyone so if your boyfriend is interested in more c-ring play (these are called cock rings, condom rings, c-rings, erection rings, and penis rings) then you two may want to shop around. There are less expensive versions, such as the Trojan vibrating condom ring, in drug stores. You could try those and, if they don’t feel good to him, you can continue to use the vibrator on your own (or he could use it on you) and it’s affordable so it’s not a waste of money. More expensive versions are available through women’s in-home sex toy parties and adult stores/websites - as you’re beginners, opt for latex or jelly versions that can be easily stretched to remove them (avoid metal versions as they cannot always be easily removed and are better for expert-level users). You might also play around with the vibration. It might tickle him more when directed toward the top of his penis rather than the bottom (near the scrotum) or vice versa. If you keep trying and it’s not comfortable, move on. There are endless ways to discover pleasurable sex and not everything works for everybody.



The Mysterious Male Nipple

Yes or no: do guys get pleasure from having their nipples played with?  — Tumblr

Sarah: Ah yes, one of life’s great mysteries: Why do men have nipples? Like every person on earth is a unique, individual snowflake (JK college students! You’re indistinguishable lemmings!), you’ll just have to figure it out with any dude you get with. I know guys who are on the spectrum from “Meh” to “GOD PLEASE DO THAT YES” to “If you do that again, I’ll kick you out.” You just never know with those rascally male nipples, so just ask! Don’t just reach out and start tuning in Tokyo, as it were, until you get permission to touch that dial.

Dr. Debby: Yes: some do. No: not all do. (Same as with women.) If you’re curious about whether you should stimulate a male partner’s nipples, try it and/or ask him if he enjoys it or would like to try it. Some men even find it easier to orgasm when their nipples are stimulated. I’ve heard from some men who use nipple stimulation as basically a launching pad/tipping point to orgasm. For others, it’s an annoying distraction… or else totally neutral. Explore, communicate, and find out!


College (Sex) 101

My niece is headed to college in the fall and I feel like I should give her some advice on how to deal with sex in college (I’m only 8 years older than she is). What should I tell her to help her make good choices without really scaring her about campus rape?

Sarah: Anymore, I don’t even know how to begin answering this question. College is an awesome time of figuring out who you are and what you want sexually and intimately. It’s the negotiation of everything around those two elements, partying, alcohol, and wanting to become the person you think you want to be that causes so much strife. My parents are the worry-wart types, so they armed me with every anxiety-producing warning they could. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll just say that loosely following these guidelines kept me safe and may have kept me from staying in a lot of situations that could've gone bad. HOWEVER, I’d like to be clear that rape is still solely the fault of rapists. There are ways you can help keep yourself safe though:

1) Your creep alarm is your intuition. Trust it. If someone gives you the creeps or makes you feel unsafe, they’re probably a creep and you don’t have to hang out, be near, finish a date, etc, with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. This is your across-the-board Permission to Bail. 

2) Don’t drink anything anyone hands you. ANYTHING. If you’re not doing it with your own two hands, be close enough to be able to see your cup the whole time it’s being filled. If someone actively tries to conceal your drink while refilling, pour it out and get the fuck out of there. Bad shit happens there.

3) Don’t drink (or go out or have sex or dance on a bar or…) for any reason other than YOU want to. Don’t take shots if you don’t want to because some dude in snapback dares you do. Don’t take shots because your roommate tells you you should “loosen up a little.” Don’t do anything party-related because the social consequences of not doing it would be worse than doing it. That's a quick way to know if you’re about to make a really bad choice.

4) Hang out with people who like themselves, value others, value your time together, and make you feel good about yourself. Make friends with people who value their friendships and make an effort to tell or show their friends that they are cared about and loved, whether in friendship, romance, or fuckmance. Make friends with people you can depend on and make a plan for keeping each other safe before you go out. Anyone who makes you feel shitty, even for a second (“Oh my god, at least put some eyeliner on before we go out, hag! JK, Love you!" She's not. She's fucking terrible.) is a basic bitch who doesn’t deserve your friendship, fuckship, or attention. Those people have a hole in their self-esteem and you don’t want to be along for the ride while they try to plug it, no matter how fun it might seem (and usually is) at first. That person's story ends in tears. Trust me on that. 

5) Have sex with as many people as you want to (or don't want to). Whether that means none or the entire fourth floor, college is the time to make your OWN sexual choices, and to learn to make them from an authentic place. That said, you can’t possibly fathom how much harder it is to meet people out of college, and how much, much harder it is to get from their bed to yours in the most basic, transportational way. Listen, cabs and Uber cost money is all I’m saying. Walks across campus in last night’s minidress are free—and while we’re at it, let’s ditch the “Walk of Shame” moniker. There’s no shame in making your own informed sexual choices, whether it be abstinence or full-on collegiate orgy. As long as it’s consensual, un-pressured, and with the purpose of fun and exploration, honey there ain’t no shame in that.

6) Don't pretend you want a hookup if you want a relationship, and vice versa. Hookup culture was on its way to getting out of control when I was in college a few short years ago, and I have no doubt that it's become the norm. If there's one thing that college is good for, it's figuring out what you want out of life, relationships, work, and other people with minimal consequences for getting it wrong. A lot of times, the things we want are dictated to us by out friends and parents, and college is the first time that we get to ask ourselves what we like and want. Just because your new definition of self is "college student" doesn't mean you have to participate in the hookup culture. All you have to do is be honest with your partners about what you want and not begrudge someone for wanting something different than you. In fact, that's one of the most prominent lessons of the collegiate experience: learning what is best for you based on the person you are and want to be, asking for those things, and learning to respect what is best for others even if it's different from what you want.

7) Condoms are not a men-only purchase or responsibility. This probably should go higher in the list, but condoms are cheap, over-the-counter, keep you safe from a lot more things than just accidental pregnancy, and YOU DO NOT NEED A PENIS TO BUY THEM. You know how we think it's ridiculous when grown men won't buy us tampons? Well, we should adopt the same attitude about women buying condoms. If you're going to have sex, get some goddamn condoms (they're free at Planned Parenthood, the Bell Flower Clinic, and you can sometimes score freebies from companies giving away new product) and put them in little butterfly tins or whatever you have to do to feel fine about keeping them out, but just have them around. As a smart lady on TV once said, "You should have a condom with you when you go out. Because what if you meet Ryan Gosling and he wants to fuck but you don't have a condom? Cuz he'd be like, 'Let's just go without one' and you'd let him, because he's Ryan Gosling. So have a damn condom on you." 

"I got the clap from Ryan Gosling" sounds like a hilarious story, but when you boil it down, you're still a girl who got the clap from some guy from LA. Cool story, bro. Buy em. Have em around. Stay disease-free. 

8) If anything bad happens, file a report with the police and then the campus police. Do not trust that your school will protect you over its own good PR, athletics program, or alumni donations. Colleges are (very big) businesses that will, by and large, protect their own financial interests over the acknowledgement of a sexual assault problem (which most campuses have) or the punishment of predators. Your allies here are the real police first (you're damn right I said real, ya fuckin' Butler Segway jockeys), then campus "security." 


Dr. Debby: Two books I think every female college student should have are: How to Be a Person: The Stranger’s Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself (by Lindy West, Dan Savage, Christopher Frizzelle, and Bethany Jean Clement) and Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered for Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex (by me). How to Be a Person has all kinds of practical tips about making friends, getting an education, dealing with drugs and alcohol, and managing the realities of college sex, hook-ups, and exploration. Sex Made Easy has answers to 100 common questions I’ve received over the years (many of them common to college students and people in their 20s/30s) and deals with stuff like gyn exams, talking to a partner about what you do and don’t want to do sexually, STI testing, condom use, learning to have orgasms, what to do if sex hurts, sex toys, and much more.

Your niece also needs to know she can talk to you - or other people in her life - about anything that comes up or questions she has or difficult situations she or her friends find themselves in. You might be that person for her or you might not. It’s less important that you are that person and more important that someone is that person. So I’d encourage you to let her know that if she has questions or issues she can talk to her parents or to you or to some other adult (like a college counselor or doctor/nurse at her health center) that is smart, responsible, and cares what happens to her. You mentioned rape and for good reason - sexual assault and rape are serious college campus issues, so serious that the White House (finally!) addressed it. Most colleges/universities aren’t doing enough to address sexual assault and rape.

Practical advice for college students includes: don’t drink the punch at frat or house parties (sadly, sometimes it’s still laced with drugs and/or uses extremely high proof alcohol and it’s readily offered to girls while the guys drink beer); being the designated driver keeps you safe and yes you can still have fun without alcohol; hang out with friends who seem to genuinely care about each other; whatever anyone else tells you about college students, my research and class surveys of my own students shows that the vast majority of college men and women want to date and fall in love, but they think everyone else just wants to hook up and avoid love, and as a result few people want to admit that they’re human beings who want intimacy, connection, and enjoyment just like human beings are wont to do.

I’d also make sure that she knows that condoms protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - I’ve been amazed at how many of my college students enter the semester not knowing that condoms protect against some STIs and so they often stop using them once birth control pills enter the picture. So yes - two books, a talk, and knowing that she can always come to you for information and support. That’s a good start.



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