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Get Naked: Sex advice for New Yorkers (October 4, 2012)

Jamie Bufalino gets a female perspective on the large phallus.

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock
Q What do you do if your woman has severe vestibulitis and vulvodynia? My wife’s immune system is attacking her genitals, and it looks like someone sprayed acid on her. She’s been to a dozen doctors and specialists, who all say it’s hopeless. The only relief she gets from pain is from lidocaine and some other pain meds. I haven’t touched her below the waist in six years, and for the four years before that, I didn’t realize she’d have to take a ton of drugs to numb herself before I could touch her. I do love her, but it’s like we’re brother and sister. I’ve given up on ever having anything that approaches any kind of sex life. I would gladly do something else that would stimulate intimacy, but I think that even getting sexually excited causes her pain. I love her, and she stood by me when I was extremely ill and almost died after several surgeries that went poorly. So I can’t even think of leaving her. I just don’t know what to do, except to accept that my hand in life has been dealt—and that’s the only hand that will ever be intimate with me unless I cheat on her, and I don’t want to do that. I don’t suppose you’d have any ideas or know of someone who has a cure for this autoimmune disease? I’m a wreck.

A I should start off by advising you to keep meeting with actual, full-fledged physicians about all of this. I would immediately consult one of those 2012 “Best doctors in New York City” roundups and make an appointment with every gynecologist on the list until you find someone you and your wife have a rapport with and who understands the depth of your struggle. Studies have shown that vestibulitis and vulvodynia (which are both basically extreme vaginal pain) can be set off by a wide array of factors —everything from emotional stress to allergic reactions to hormonal or chemical abnormalities. In other words, it’s understandable that it might take a while to pinpoint the main cause. Furthermore, your wife’s not the only one who needs professional care. Clearly this is taking its toll on you psychologically, so it would be in you and your marriage’s best interest for you to find a therapist. Lastly, I wouldn’t just toss away the notion of finding nonvaginally focused ways to stimulate intimacy—even if that just means kissing. That could really help the two of you feel more connected than you currently do.

Q I’m a 33-year-old woman who has been dating a 49-year-old man for several months. Things are going great, and for the most part, the sex is very good. However, there have been several times—usually after a lengthy sex session—when I think he has faked his orgasm. It’s hard to tell because we always use condoms, but his reaction seems weaker and a bit anticlimactic, and when I look down, there isn’t any semen in the condom. Is it possible to have an orgasm without ejaculation? If so, it’d be nothing to get hung up about. But if he’s having trouble reaching orgasm and wants to hide it from me, I’d rather figure out what I can do to please him better or help him relax. Is there some sort of condition or medicine he could be taking that causes this to occur? Or is this an issue that older men sometimes experience?

A Quick answer: Yes, it is possible for a guy to have an orgasm without ejaculating, because ultimately they are two different sexual processes. Prepubescent boys can orgasm before they’ve even got the juice to back it up. There’s also something called retrograde ejaculation, or “dry orgasm,” which means the guy actually has an inverse, internal money shot. There can be health reasons behind retrograde ejaculations—such as complications from diabetes. And yes, some medications can also lead to dry orgasms. So perhaps he’s not sharing the whole story because he doesn’t want to make himself seem like a dilapidated old dude. One last possibility: Some guys actually don’t ejaculate for several seconds after orgasming. Therefore, although your perusal of the condom may have made you think he didn’t gush at all, had you inspected his tighty-whities minutes afterward, you may have come to a far different conclusion.

Big Cock Response week two: I received an interesting take on large penises from a woman who was unhappy with my dressing-down of the man who started this all off with his insistence on large cocks. Let’s see what this huge-schlong-loving gal had to say:

Personal stats for context: I am a 32-year-old straight female who lives (very happily) with my boyfriend of almost three years. In response to your advice to the “size queen”: Yeah, for some of us, sex is only outrageously magnificent if the guy is packing a pretty big dick. It’s not about any psychological fixation with porn or excessive machismo, it’s about the pleasing physical experience that a large penis provides. It’s about personal preference. Feeling comfortable in a romantic relationship has a good deal to do with compatible preferences. For instance, I tend to think a little light bondage is fun, like, once a year. I also tend to think that people who get way into S&M/bondage/domination/Fifty Shades of Grey/whatever you wanna call it are kind of sad because they have to assume alter egos to get off. But that’s okay—I don’t have to date those people, and they don’t have to date me. We just have to successfully navigate around each other in the dating pool, and then we can avoid disappointment. Sure, it’s possible to find an average or tiny guy you connect with emotionally. But for some of us, sex with an average or tiny guy will never, never, never be that great.

Send letters to Jamie Bufalino c/o Time Out New York, 475 Tenth Avenue, 12th floor, New York, NY 10018, or send e-mail to sex@timeoutny.com.