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Sex chat with Emily Dubberley - Part 1
Sex and relationships guru, Emily Dubberley, dropped in to answer your questions on everything from sex toys to self-esteem.
Jim_V: And there she is, hi Emily.
Emily: Hi everyone.
Jim_V: So any questions, fire away. But I'll start with a question from PussyKatty.
PussyKatty: Any tips for speeding up a man to make him come quicker?
Emily: If you're performing oral sex on him then looking him in the eye is always good. Some men like prostate stimulation, but always check that he's happy with that before you start. Use lubricant when giving a hand job, either saliva - or even better use a water based lube. The more slippery the better, but never oil as it can distress condoms. He'll enjoy it more and your wrists will ache less.
JustDoLondon: Emily - you've tested over 300 sex toys (according to our mods) - would you say you personally would tend to buy one based on shape, colour, price, size, or recommendation?
Emily: I would say recommendation is always best if you can have that kind of conversation with a friend. Colour doesn't matter all that much at all unless you want it to stand out, or glow in the dark. If you want one for G-spot stimulation then go for one with a bend in it. The classic rabbit-style vibrator is best shape-wise for clitoral stimulation. If you've got a partner and you're not sure what their attitude to sex toys is then it's always better to get one at the smaller end of the spectrum.
JustDoLondon: And if you don't have those conversations with friends how do you know which would be the right one, without spending a fortune?
Emily: Buying online is almost always the cheapest option. Stick with a reputable client such as www.sextoys.co.uk and www.lovehoney.co.uk. They've got great customer service and discreet packaging. I'd also recommend the clit flipper - it's a great toy that costs under £7 from sextoys.co.uk. You definitely don't need to spend a fortune to get a great toy.
nosey: What can the possible causes be of painful sex once STIs have been discounted and you've had the all clear from smear tests?
Emily: It could be vaginismus which is tightening of the vaginal muscles, or it could be that you're not wet enough. There's also the possibility that it could be thrush which doesn't always come up on an STI test or can arise quickly after you've been tested. It could also be stress - or issues with your partner that need resolving. It's always worth going for a chat with your doctor as it could be something as simple as a skin irritation, or an allergy to your bubble bath. Eros lube is really good for sensitive skin and you might find it helps - it's designed especially for women. It's always good to make sure your partner is tested too - and always use condoms with every new partner.
The_Devil: Emily - A couple of times when my girlfriend fingered me I've ended up bleeding, only a little, and we're a bit worried, but I don't even notice it happening... is this normal, or common?
Emily: With any kind of bleeding you should always be wary. It could be as simple as making sure nails are trim. If it's anal fingering then latex gloves should always be used. It could also be that the hymen hasn't been quite broken and that's what's causing the bleeding. It's definitely worth getting unusual bleeding checked out at the doctors, especially if it's happened more than once. And don't forget lube - especially if fingering is a new thing for you and you need to take more time to relax into it.
nosey: Are there any foods that make sperm taste nicer?
Emily: Pineapples, strawberries and other fruits, and not to mention giving up smoking, cutting down on alcohol and avoiding drugs. Ultimately, the healthier your diet the nicer sperm tastes. Also avoid curry and asparagus.
Emily: Yes I am very busy. Any sex tips that I recommend have either been tested by me, or if I haven't tried them then my friends have. A quickie in an ad break can work depending on if you've been fondling each other while you're watching TV and then get it on in the ad breaks. Oh and having a vibrator to hand is always good, too!
Kaff: Can you recommend any good positions for someone who has 'gammy' hips?
Emily: Yes - flat doggy. So it's similar to doggy style but lying flat on your front with pillows beneath your hips. Or spooning is good too (both of you lying on your side) which is also good if you're pregnant.
JustDoLondon: What is the best way to get the missus prepared for anal sex? Using her juice, the tongue, spit, or just stick with a tube-a-lube?
Emily: Lots and lots of foreplay. If you're going to try rimming (stimulating the anus with the tongue) make sure you use a dental dam - not just to prevent STIs, but also to prevent nasty stomach upsets. If she lies on her left hand side she will be more comfortable. Start very slowly circling the outside of the anus and make sure you're wearing gloves and your nails are nice and trim. Press forward very slowly with just one figure and it will be sucked in slowly so you shouldn't use a lot of force.
Don't use any numbing creams as the pain signals are there for a reason if things aren't quite right, so it's all about getting her relaxed and using lots and lots of lube. You might also want to use a small sex toy if you're both comfortable. Make sure you let her set the pace for all of this. Never, ever, ever use the "oops - wrong hole!" line because you will get a slap in the face and it will hurt her lots! Probably the best way to figure out how to treat a woman during anal sex is to practice on your own anus as then you can work out what feels good and a speed that feels nice.
Mila: I think I use sex to get attention, but when I want sex I do actually want sex. It's only afterwards that I wonder if really what I wanted was just to be spoken to or something. Why am I doing this and how can I tell what I actually want? Also I think I use sex to make me happy in the same way I use drugs or anorexia/bulimia to make me happy. Is this unhealthy? Should I not be doing this?
Emily: If you think you're using all these things to bolster your self-esteem then the chances are you probably are. So why not say to your boyfriend you'd like to take a few weeks away from sex to get back to kissing, talking and being affectionate with each other. For people who are single it's recommended to spend at least three months celibate to work out what sex means in your life.
I'm sure you've got friends that talk to you and respect you without wanting to have sex with you and so there's no reason why you should feel you have to have sex with a guy for them to take notice of you. He's probably happy to give you attention with or without sex, and if he's not then he's probably not the best person to be with. If you think that you can only feel good on drugs and alcohol then it's good to go out and watch your friends when they're wasted to remember that it doesn't make you look more attractive.
Mila: I know he is attracted to me without sex. It's like I have equated men with sex so when you want the attention of someone who is male you offer sex. Is that an attitude you come across?
Emily: It's a very common attitude but also an unhealthy one. You need to work on your own insecurities - as although these things can make you feel good, it's very short term and you need to realise you have much more to offer than physical pleasure. But don't beat yourself up because as your self-esteem grows your need to use sex, drugs or alcohol to prove that your worth something will start to fade. It's a very common attitude in young women, but taking the step in realising this is really positive.
Just because sex is an easy way to get attention, it's not the best way - a good relationship is based on the person you are. Remember that sex is all about your enjoyment; that is the most important thing.
Mila: So kind of what you are saying is that people who are content don't really need anything?
Emily: They don't need things like sex, drugs and alcohol to make them happy, because if you're content in yourself then you won't need them - sex is more something that you have because you want to, not because it's something that can earn you something else. If you've got the confidence to then it's really worth talking to your boyfriend about these things.
Mila: Okay, I will think about this... Thank you. That was helpful.
Reggie: What kind of sex toy can you introduce into a relationship that can seem natural, in that it doesn't feel "too dirty" and increases the emotional contact of the couple?
"When giving a woman oral sex, if you lie at a 90-degree angle then you can easily get your finger inside - particularly good if she's very sensitive as it won't over-stimulate her nerves."
Emily: Ooh - almost any sex toy apart from any of the really big scary ones. It's just about introducing them in the right way. Shopping together can be great. Either online or even places like Ann Summers or Coco de Mer, if you feel comfortable. I certainly wouldn't just miraculously produce one as that could really intimidate some people.
Jim_V: Thanks Emily, next question coming.
JustDoLondon: For a woman, what does it REALLY feel like when a penis is deep inside the vagina? Being a guy, I'll never know.
Emily: It really varies from woman to woman. It depends on the penis and how well it's being used. We can feel a degree of connection if it's good sex, but every woman will have their own answer. It's not like a finger in the arse, that's for sure! The muscular contractions a woman feels when she's coming around a guy is probably quite similar to the feeling a guy has when he's reaching orgasm.
It almost always feels better if there's clitoral stimulation going on, too. That's probably universal.
Reggie: I am dating someone younger, and they don't know how to physically love someone in a conventional way, meaning that she doesn't want to have sex but feels that I would enjoy things she did with last boyfriend. But they really creep me out - like bad kissing for hours, grinding through pants until it is uncomfortable and dirty talk that seems pointless and misdirected. How can I tell her and still have a girlfriend?
Emily: If the kissing is bad then it's a sign that the sex probably be won't great either. One way to hone the kissing is to ask your partner to kiss you the way that they'd like to be kissed and then return the favour. It all sounds romantic, but make sure you get some comfortable pants if you're going to be dry humping. Ultimately you have to respect her limits if she's really not ready for sex. You don't say how old she is but remember that sex under the age of 16 is illegal.
With the sex talk, make a list of the words you do and don't like and get her to do the same thing. Going back to the kissing - if it really gets too much, pull away and start kissing her neck to wipe the saliva off. Dry humping can also be a learning experience - not just a frustrating one. You can learn the rhythm of each other's bodies this way. You might need to take toilet breaks to sort yourself out during a dry humping session. You could get her to make you a cup of tea if you think you'll be a while.
JustDoLondon: Sounds like nicely executed research there, emily ;)
Emily: Everybody was a teenager once JustDoLondon ;-) Don't knock the days of furtive fumbling!
JustDoLondon: What do you think to extreme masturbation? For example, cheesegraters for men, big wine bottles for women etc?
Emily: Extremely dangerous and not to be recommended!
nosey: Any ideas on how to get my sex drive back? I have no desire but want it back.
Emily: It could be down to stress, depression or being on anti depressants - in which case talk to your doctor. But also make sure you get lots of exercise and improve your diet. The healthier you are then the healthier your sex life will be.
nosey: I guess once the painful sex is dealt with it will return
Emily: Yep, that's true - I'd definitely go to a doctor and mention the loss of libido when you mention painful sex. Try masturbating as that will help you have sex at your own pace and get all of those lovely sex chemicals floating round the body. Perhaps try non-penetrative sex toys that won't cause any pain.
Tom: I've been going out with my girlfriend for a while and I was wondering whether there are any good tips for giving good oral sex?
Emily: Yes. Listen to her body you'll be able to tell when she's particularly enjoying something as she'll get wetter. A light touch of the tongue with side to side strokes or up and down strokes - her reaction will show which she enjoys more. Often women like you to use your fingers at the same time and remember to venture into all areas. Try gently trailing your tongue to the left of the labia and to the right - and softly sucking the clit. Don't think that speed is the most important thing and reassure her that you're enjoying it. Women can get stressed at the idea of it and need to know you like it.
Some women enjoy it if you share a sexy shaving session - it makes for a fun night, but make sure she's up for it and is aware there may be itchy grow back.
If your neck starts to ache while giving oral, why not lay on your back so she can sit towards your face. If you lie at a 90-degree angle then you can easily get your finger inside - particularly good if she's very sensitive as it won't over-stimulate her nerves. She's clearly a lucky woman to have a man who cares so much to want to do it well. Also, make sure you're shaven - stubble on the clit is like sand paper!
Tom: When using the fingers should they have lube on them?
Emily: Ideally, yes.
Jim_V: Okay everyone I think that's time now. Thanks again Emily.
JustDoLondon: Cheers Emily :-) very interesting answers.
JsT: Great chat.
nosey: Thanks for the help, I think you pinpointed my problem.
Emily: Thank you everyone for the fantastic questions :-)
JustDoLondon: Do you have a new publication out soon? (Time for the plug) ;)
Jim_V: Yeah Emily, any new book out soon?
Emily: I'm working on a book out in September called The ex-factor. It's about exes and how to handle them - yours and other people's.
JustDoLondon: ah, I think I may need to pre-order that.
Emily: The most recent book I've written is called I'd rather be single than settle which is all about the joys of single life. You can also catch me in Scarlet every month and Look magazine every week.