You can't expect you and your partner's sex drives to always be revved up at a mattress-scorching 100%, and it follows that you can't expect to always be sexually in tune.
However, that doesn't mean you have to rest on your laurels and watch your sex life fade into dust. If you think a short-term libido dip is turning into a long-term issue, or if you're looking to please her and don't know where you're going wrong, you've come to the right place!
The second part of the 'SOS' series, this time we're focusing on fix-it's for him to solve her sex dilemmas.
It’s an object of worship, yet causes more anxiety than any other body part. I get the pride and I get the paranoia about penises, though as I’m very fond of saying, I’m very glad I don’t own one.
Penises have a mind of their own - and diabolically, every decision it makes is visible.
While women can fake almost everything (lube for arousal, a few moans for orgasm), what’s happening with men is far more obvious.
Which is why you need to let go of that ridiculous assumption that a. you can control your penis (you can’t) and b. that it should behave like it does in the (porn) movies. Give the little (sorry - big) fella a chance.
He’s not a robot, he’s human - and just like you, he gets tired, stressed, overexcited and/or distinctly underwhelmed by things.
So forgive him for not performing at his best all of the time and get to know yours a whole lot better…
Some sex problems we'll cheerfully blab to friends after a few wines because we secretly think they make us look good. For women, the old 'He's too big for me', is a classic example.
Confessing this problem not only lets their girlfriends know their new man is hung like a horse, it also craftily implies they're as tight as a virgin.
We're not quite as quick to confess things that don't paint such a complimentary picture - like him not getting hard enough or her not fancying sex at all - and we're particularly reluctant to talk about things that might suggest we're not as sexually savvy as we like to make out.
In this series, you'll find solutions to things that are a little delicate to handle, along with answers to questions you might be embarrassed to ask because the answers just seem way too obvious.
Millions and millions of ‘normal’ people watch porn every year - the industry is worth billions. Men watch it, women watch it, couples watch it. Just like anal sex, porn jumped over the ‘kinky’ fence to become mainstream years ago.
But always remember: female porn stars are cast for their vulvas and their breasts. Prepare yourself for pink, symmetrical, hairless, pretty little things with inner lips always smaller than the outer lips.
Men are hired for their penis size, staying power and ability to effortlessly get an erection and ejaculate on cue. Both sexes are hired for their ability to have lots of sex with no apparent wear and tear.
One female porn star called Houston slept with 621 men in less than eight hours. Your body and genitals probably don’t look or work like theirs. Just thought you might like to know!
I’ve written a lot of sex books over the years and given a lot of advice. Most of it, I’m proud to say, I still stand by 15 years on. But there’s been a heap of research into arousal and orgasm since I started out as a fledging ‘sexpert’, and we understand more about our sexual systems and responses now, than we ever have.
This means original theories need to be reconsidered - and maybe completely rethought. There has never really been a ‘this works for everyone’ solution to any sexual problem because we’re all individual in our tastes and desires. But there are some pieces of advice doled out over and over again. The question is: what’s stood the test of time and what’s actually a load of rubbish?
A guided tour of his hottest sex spots and clues on whether to lick, touch, kiss or caress once you've found them. Let's start at the top and work our way downward...
Most people adore having their hair brushed or played with (and if he doesn’t, it’s usually a sign he’s not in touch with himself - or you. Often it means he’s uncomfortable with intimacy.)
A head massage isn’t something he’s likely to ask for (it’s a bit girly), but most won’t knock one back if on offer and once experienced, he’ll be begging for more.
It’s easy to do: simply make like a hairdresser who’s massaging in the conditioner.
Spread your fingers and nestle them in his hair, then use the pads to massage in a firm, circular motion. You should feel the entire scalp move in response.
There's one major difference between male and female genitalia: men can see their bits while women can't.
All men have to do is look down, play around a little and all is revealed.
Women's bits aren't in view (assuming there are no giraffes reading this) and it's for this reason we know less about our bodies and genitals.
We're curious though - it's a rare women who hasn't looked at her vagina in a hand mirror - but even if we have gazed in wonderment and possibly horror (let's face it, the genitalia of either sex are hardly going to win beauty competitions are they?), you'd be well advised to look again.
The more you know about how everything works, the more enjoyment you'll get from sex so it's for this reason I'm going to take you on a guided tour of your own body.
The next five minutes of exploration could make a massive difference to your sex life.
Whether you live in different places or either of you travels extensively for business (or pleasure solo!), keeping a relationship strong and stimulating long-distance isn’t easy. And then there’s your sex life.
‘What sex life?’ I can hear you groan from here.
Granted, it is pretty difficult keeping things steamy when you’re not even physically in the same place.
But with forethought, a little imagination and a lot of naughtiness, it can be done.
WHILE YOU'RE APART
Keep your libido topped up
Stop having sex and you stop wanting sex. The more you masturbate (with fingers or a vibrator) while your partner's gone, the more you'll feel like sex when you're together.
Remember when you were a kid and tried to touch a rainbow? Orgasms can be just as elusive.
Reach just a little higher, you think, and you'll have one but the next minute, it's slipped through your (or his) fingers. Men rarely have problems reaching orgasm - women usually do.
The good news is there's lots you can do to increase your orgasm potential.
Use different stimulation for each orgasm
You've got more chance of having more than one orgasm if it's via a different means. Alternate oral sex with intercourse with digital stimulation (that's his fingers rather than digital telly, but while we're on the topic, a bit of porn playing in the background could be just what you need!)
If he's too close to coming, change activities. Get him to give you oral sex until he feels more in control.
Sex isn't about the destination, it's the means of travelling. A nice sentiment, but if it takes five buses, two trains and a plane to get you to Destination Orgasm, the journey can get a tad tedious!
Up the number and intensity of your orgasms by trying any (and all) of the following:
Prime yourself for sex by turning yourself on beforehand
You're out to dinner with friends? As he's talking, think about what that tongue will do to you later, how much better his fingers would feel inside you rather than wrapped around a beer glass...
Read erotica before you're about to have sex, to get yourself in the mood. (There are plenty of sexy stories in my fantasy book Dare: What happens when fantasies come true.)