Alberto, kissing can be very intimate (and very personal).  Ultimately there is no one right way to kiss.  Traditionally, Eskimos kissed by rubbing their noses together.  And Trobriand Islanders would express intense intimacy by biting off the tips of each other’s eyelashes.  They considered the insertion of the tongue in a lover’s mouth to be disgusting.

Being that you and your girlfriend have different ideas about kissing you might begin by having her explain (and then demonstrate) how she likes to be kissed. Perhaps she finds you to be too slobbery or that you dart your tongue in and out too fast.   (You might practice by placing a grape in your mouth and slowly massaging it with your tongue.)  Mirroring can help, too.  Passively receive her kiss and then copy exactly what she does back to her. Remember kissing, like nearly all sexual practices is a social construction.  There are many inventions...and many proclivities.

What is the right way to kiss?  My girlfriend says I don’t do it right.  Alberto, 18

Are there females who never get orgasms during sex?  Analisa, 17

Analisa, I would never say never!   Sexual learning can make a huge difference in a woman’s orgasmic capacity.  A good place to start with becoming more sexually responsive is to masturbate.  If you know how to reach orgasm on your own, you’ll be much more likely to be able to experience orgasm with a partner.   You’ll know the kind of stimulation you need...and can share that information with your partner.  If you have never masturbated and don’t yet own a vibrator you might try using a hand held shower head.  Run a steady warm stream of water onto your clitoris and as you feel tension building, hold your breath.   Experiment with holding and releasing your breath and varying the intensity of the water flow until you find what feels good to you.  Once you know what an orgasm feels like you can begin the adventure of experiencing it with a partner!

I can have orgasms through masturbation, foreplay and oral sex, but never while being penetrated.  Is this normal?  Lily, 24

Lily, your experience is not unusual.  The sensations that males access through penetration are often far more erotic than what females feel.  A parallel condition for males might be females expecting them to experience high levels of sexual excitement leading to orgasm from only stroking their balls and completely ignoring the heads of their penises.  Nonetheless there are people (both male and female) who reach orgasm without any direct stimulation, e.g. in their sleep, while walking down the street or daydreaming.  While the activities you mention, presume direct clitoral stimulation, tribal women in Sub-Saharan Africa who have been clitorectomized are not necessarily anorgasmic.  Our bodies do have many erogenous zones--the backs of our knees, our ear lobes, our necks and our nipples can all be engaged in such a way that orgasm can be produced.

I was with my boyfriend for about six years and every time we had sex it was so painful.  There was not one time that we had six that it didn’t hurt.  What’s wrong with me? Dana, 25

Dana, when there is pain with sexual intercourse it is probably not the problem of one person. The problem could be cultural, informational  or simply a lack of communication between the couple.   Certainly in some world cultures the woman’s role in a marriage is to satisfy her husband sexually and to produce children for him.  The idea of a woman enjoying sex on her own terms can be a foreign concept.  Sometimes this has been addressed by inhibiting a woman’s sexual expression through religious and cultural practices that expect premarital virginity.   Some cultures have restrictions that are dramatic and physical like clitoridectomy (surgically removing the clitoris), infibulation (sewing up the vaginal opening), forcing women to wear chastity belts and veiling and/or secluding women.

As for your situation, there are several possible causes for the pain.  One cause might have been discomfort in the relationship.  Perhaps you didn’t feel secure with him--perhaps you felt pressure to perform rather than to be your honest self.  Another might be a lack of foreplay--perhaps your boyfriend was inserting his penis before you were really ready.  Insertion for you might work better as the culmination of a long seduction, rather than the first step in having sex.  Using a water-based lubricant such as Astroglide can be very helpful, especially if you’re using condoms.  Place a couple of drops inside the condom, all over the outside of the condom and on yourself as well.  And feel free to add more lubricant if you start to feel dry (and painful).  

A final possible cause of the pain could be the position(s) you were using.  Some angles can be painful while others might feel completely delicious.  The very most important is to communicate! Let each other know what feels good...and what doesn’t.

How To…