We've all had those confidence-shattering moments of looking down during sex and seeing a not-so-attractive glimpse of wobbly thighs or breasts that are less than bouncy.
While I won't bore you by rattling on about the 'beauty is skin deep' stuff, I can tell you a recent survey showed while weight does matter to men initially (they'll pick the slim girl over a plumper one from photographs), once they're in a relationship, they see your 'bumps' as curves. A man in love really does love all of you - and perceives what you see as faults (aka: fat bits), as signs of fabulous femininity.
Stop yourself focusing on negatives by doing the following:
Dildos are used for both anal and vaginal penetration and great to insert during oral sex or for people who like multiple stimulation of different bits - but only one lover!
They come in all sorts of materials: latex rubber, cyberskin, jelly, silicone or the most beautiful (and safe) glass variety.
As well as being terrific as a role-play prop for a pretend threesome, they're ideal to help prepare for anal intercourse. You can create your perfect 'fake' penis because dildos are sold by width and length and easy to use.
Using a dildo vaginally solo or together:
Use lube: Apply some to opening of the vagina and put a little on the dildo itself as well.
Insert gently: With lube, it should slide inside with ease. If using it solo, you can sit or lie to insert or hold it firmly at the base and lower yourself on top.
The breasts are often bypassed on the way to what men perceive to be the real goodies - the genitals. Yet for most women (and lots of men) the breast area is highly erotic, playing a vital part in sexual excitement.
As with the rest of our bodies, what we like, as well as when and how we want you to touch them, is all individual.
As a general rule, though...
- Start off gently and slowly, increasing the pressure in line with her arousal.
- Watch her body language carefully to see how she responds to different touches - and make sure it's desire making her nipples erect, not the cold breeze drifting in from an open window!
- Try sucking, nibbling, licking, stroking or gently squeezing the entire breast area. The nipples and areola (the pinky brown bit around the nipples) are sensitive but so is the area underneath.
Think of your sex life as a bank account. Keep it topped up at a healthy level. If you had sex twice last week, it's OK to say no because you're knackered the week after. Not so good, if you haven't had sex for three months.
- Don't say no, say when: If you don't feel like it now, when will you? Honour any promises you make.
- Go for a low-effort option: If he's really up for it and you're not, get him to masturbate while you watch, lying beside him in bed. Or what about giving him oral sex instead, if he orgasms quickly that way?
It's both a curse and a blessing being female: it's harder for us to orgasm than it is for men, but it's easier to have more than one. Want to up your orgasm quota? The more different ways you can orgasm, the more orgasms you'll have.
This technique helps retrain your body to respond to a wider range of sexual stimulation:
- Masturbate in your usual way until you're almost, almost there... then stop. Change to a new position, switch to a different technique (if you normally use your fingers, try a vibrator and if you use pressure, try your fingers, etc) then start again. Again, get almost all the way there then stop. Change position and technique again - and keep doing it till you've brought yourself to the brink at least five times. This not only stops your body from expecting exactly the same stimulation to orgasm; it trains it to expect that after one peak of sensation, another is coming.
Q:I really want to try using a strap-on dildo on my boyfriend so he can experience how it feels on my end. I also quite fancy using a butt plug on him during sex.
He's not keen and can't figure out what (if any) satisfaction he'd get from it, other than the obvious fact that he would be pleasing me. He says the thought of something going in his rear end disturbs him.
A: He won't be the first guy to be perturbed at the thought of you wanting to go 'there'. But there are reasons why he should at least give it a go. The male G-spot - the prostate gland - is inside his rectum and once he gets used to it being stimulated, it can deliver explosive orgasms like nothing he's ever experienced.
Q: I have never had an orgasm. I've had a few partners over the years and but none of them ever really cared about making me feel good. My current partner of one year does and we've tried lots of toys, orgasm gels, balms, creams, different condoms, positions, roleplay - all sorts. But still nothing. Am I missing something? Is there some magical solution to help me let go and finally climax? I feel like I'm broken or there's something wrong with me.
A: You need to go back to basics and go solo. The thing about female orgasm is that, because it’s complicated and not automatic, most women discover how to do it by themselves.
The first orgasm for most women is usually had by experimenting with a good quality vibrator (one that has both slow and gentle/fast and firm settings) in the privacy of their bedroom.
Sexting is the perfect way to keep things hot when you're apart or to keep both of you on a sexual 'simmer' any time at all. You can access texts or photos whenever you feel like it and (ignore the myths!) both men and woman are visual and like looking at sexy things.
But - and it's a big one - how do you stop your partner from showing their friends, or doing something even more ominous with them if the two of you split up?
Here are some good guidelines:
How to sext someone:
- Hold off on initiating sexting until the relationship is a little more established and you've sussed out how adventurous they are sexually, especially if you're a girl texting a guy. Some guys love it, others will be shocked and you'll be instantly crossed off the potential long-term girlfriend list. Course, if you don't want to be a long-term girlfriend, text away!
- It's easy to initiate a sext to someone you are having sex with, simply send a text saying "I keep thinking about us last night. It was so hot! I have an image of you that refuses to go away and it's making me feel so horny."
- Make sure it's something they have to respond to. The obvious answer to the above text is "What am I doing in the image?" And off you go.
- Even if you haven't had sex yet, you can still use the same approach: "I loved kissing you last night. You're such a good kisser! I can't wait to feel your mouth on other parts..."
- You don't have to use swear words to sound sexy. Though if you're quite nicely spoken, throwing in the odd "I want to f***k you" with certainly get them going!
- If you get caught out, claim a friend stole your phone and did it for a laugh. Or have a second phone with a secret number that can't be traced back to you.
Q: I'm nervous about sleeping with a girl I've been dating and have had problems with premature ejaculation in the past. Should I warn her or is it better to keep quiet?
She's really easy to talk to and I'm wondering if confessing would help me be less anxious. I don't want to embarrass myself the first time we do it.
A: Talking nearly always helps solve any problem but it's especially useful in this scenario. (Well done for choosing a girl who is easy to talk to and you clearly feel comfortable with, by the way. This won't just help with PE but make solving any problem easier!)
Men with PE often put having sex off for much longer than other guys, making her question if you fancy her at all. Not pouncing on her at the first opportunity is also the main culprit for those paranoid 'Maybe he's secretly gay' questions as she struggles to understand why you haven't made a move.
Q: My husband wants me to use a vibrator on myself in front of him. I don't mind him using it on me but it's still not the same or as good as using it solo.
He says he wants to watch me play with myself with it but I think I'd be too self-conscious.
A: Some women are totally comfortable using their trusty vibe with their partners watching, some aren't. It's just a 'thing' we women have.
We're so used to having to hide it away for fear men will be threatened by them, it's weird having to pull it out of the drawer and show what we get up to when he's not around!
Then there's the fact that most women orgasm within minutes with their vibrator and take - ahem - slightly longer with their partners.
All this is probably going through your mind. But there are ways to progress from him using it on you to doing it yourself that are quite easy and embarrassment free.