We are answering all your questions about all things sex, with less-than-expert advice from NUVO's Sarah Murrell, who has no formal training other than a sense of adventure and a sex-positive outlook on life. Answering with much more authority is real-life sexpert, Dr. Debby Herbenick, who holds both a Ph.D. and M.P.H. from IU and has published more than 75 scientific papers about sexuality. She teaches multiple courses at IU's School of Public Health (including Human Sexuality classes for the past decade) and contributes to publications all over the U.S.; she has written multiple books and blogs for Kinsey Confidential. Got a question? Shoot us an email. Want to ask anonymously? Go to our Tumblr.
Dear Sex Doc,
I'd like to know why women are afraid to let their pubic hair go natural. What's up with our culture and women's fear of being naturally hairy. I know it has to do with feeling clean and fresh, just as I prefer not to have a beard. Is it normal to like a hairy woman? - JohnnyArtist, from email
S: Personally, going Bald Eagle is something I only do by request, as no man can possibly understand the upkeep and discomfort of regrowth in that department. These requests are granted on the condition that any grooming request is deniable and equally requestable of the other party. And I always get a lawyer's eyes on these agreements. Why? Because regrowth after intense shaving or waxing is a living nightmare. Oh, your beard itches? Well, imagine if scratching that itch in public would get you escorted out of some of the nicer malls in town. I've also known a few women who have had it lasered off, which is a tedious kind of torture even I can't imagine, and I've watched most of the Saw movies. In an unscientific poll of my female friends on whether they'd have sex with a guy who "preferred" a hairless situation, the general response was, "Nope. He's probably a douche or a creep." Keep in mind too that hair traps sweat, and it could just be an offshoot of our heavily-exercising, body-conscious set and thus more reflective of the adult entertainment business and not "our culture," but Dr. Debby knows better than I do.
Far more women have hair on their genitals than glossy magazines would lead you to believe. Our research suggests that most women have some pubic hair at least some of the time (even women who wax their nether regions have to grow about 2-3 weeks of hair back for there to be anything long enough to wax off the next time). Women seem to be more likely to remove their pubic hair in preparation for a potential hook-up or sex with a new-ish partner and also in preparation for their gyn exams. And yet a number of men and women who are into women keep saying that they like pubic hair, and they even miss it! Recently celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow have been vocally pro-pube and Emma Watson (yes, Hermione herself) and Kate Middleton have been sneakily photographed (not cool) with real life pubic hair (awesome!). Even American Apparel mannequins have pubic hair aplenty! So, yeah. Pubic hair is back and you can rejoice and women can save some money! Maybe be a little vocal to women, too, that you love their bodies in their natural state. If we hear it from enough people, we just might believe it one day.
We are starting to explore this lifestyle and finding more out about it on various sites. Do you know much about it or is it pretty much totally underground so to speak? Wife enjoys dressing sexy & seductive yet classy at the same time and husband likes to watch her flirt with other men at a dance club. She always has the ok to play and I enjoy the watching aspect. - Hotwife & Cuck, from email
S: First of all, pat yourselves on the back for being honest with each other about exploring your fantasy together! After this and your first tax audit, your marriage will be bulletproof! The safest way to explore any fetish is to seek out communities of open and like-minded people and try to meet up with them in person in safe environments. I think you're on the right track seeking out these communities on the web. I've known some swinging couples who take weekends away to avoid possibly seeing their dentists and kids' teachers naked, and getting some separation from your "home pond" is probably ideal if you can afford it. Whenever you're inviting anyone else into your married sex life, you just want to make sure your boundaries are clear and you're always communicating your feelings, and that (duh) you're always using protection.
You're not alone; some women and men are also into the hotwife/cuckold lifestyle and it seems that you're flirting with the lifestyle in terms of keeping it pretty tame (dancing with other men) rather than jumping right into it (e.g., her having sex with others). If you've been monogamous, that's probably a wise move as it gives you both time to see how it feels and hopefully talk with each other about it. As long as it's done in non-scary ways and you are all consenting adults about it, it is one of those things that some grown-ups choose to do (e.g., none of this business of hiding in another room while your wife and a random guy make out or have sex, which could scare the bejeezus out of her hookup).
Just how many married or partnered male-female couples do it? Percentage-wise, probably very, very few; I say this based on data suggesting that 5% or fewer of heterosexual-identified adults in the US are in open relationships. Number-wise, that still means that there are millions - yes, actual millions - of heterosexual women and men who are in some form of open relationship, with some unknown portion enjoying it in similar ways as you. In addition to online communities where you can learn more, you might also find it interesting to read Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them by Dr. David Ley.
I am a 40-year-old married woman. After I have an orgasm, I feel really irritable and am easily angered and just in a bad mood for the next 12-24 hours. Sometimes I avoid orgasm because I don't want to have a bad day! Is this common? Is there anything I can do to change it? - OneAngryMama, from email
S: Let's start with the basics on this one: have you angered any hunchbacked old women with one or more foggy eyes? Have you removed any relic or talisman from an ancient burial ground, foreign or domestic? Have you ever found any of your sexual paraphernalia in the middle of a pentagram or circle of salt? Does your husband plan elaborate pranks that he springs on you at the moment of orgasm? Are you married to the "Boom Goes the Dynamite" guy and you're just sick of his shit? If yes, call a priest or a lawyer (probably both). If none of those things are happening to you, then I have no advice and am punting this one to the Doc.
While many women and men have experienced feelings of post-sex sadness (sometimes called the "postcoital blues"), disconnect, irritability, or ennui, fewer women (about 8% in one study) report persistent "postcoital psychological symptoms" (PPS) as they are sometimes called in science-y circles. It's not really understood what causes this experience or why some people feel sad or out of sorts for a day or so after sex and others feel, as you do, irritable and easily angered. How people feel about their relationship to the person they've just had sex with can affect a person's feelings after sex. Are you having sex you want to? How do you feel about your marriage, how you get along, and intimacy or connection with your husband? Does this happen only with orgasm from sex with your husband, or even from masturbatory orgasms? Past history of abuse is linked to a greater likelihood of PPS - but it doesn't explain it all. Some researchers wonder if hormonal changes that occur during sex, or specifically related to orgasm, have something to do with it. Although some clinicians are trying to understand more about this experience, including causes and treatments, right now so little is understood that there is not one standard treatment to suggest. However, if it bothers you, you may be able to find some help through seeing a provider who specializes in sexual medicine or sex therapy.