I get it—being single in the city can be tough, and the ways New Yorkers are having sex these days can be surprising. But whatever your dating conundrum might be, I'm here to help. Consider me (Jillian Anthony, Time Out New York's Senior Things to Do editor) your personal wingwoman, guiding you through dating and doing it in New York in our weekly "Let Us Sex-plain" column. Check out my answers to all your questions online and in the magazine every Wednesday, and submit your own coitus queries below!
My friend got me a vibrator for my birthday, but I’m way too nervous to use it. How do I start enjoying myself?
—Emma, Upper East Side
Damn, Emma: That, right there, is a real friend. Keep them close. Now let me be a friend: What the hell are you nervous about?!? You’re about to spend some me time likely making yourself come harder than any other person has. I see no downside, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of! But since you’re a little gun-shy, get to know your new plaything. Read the instructions so you know about the different vibe settings and any extra tricks (some of them have moving parts or different intensity levels). Name your toy so it’s more of a friend than a stranger (is it more of a Chris Pratt or a Deep Impact?), and hang out with it while you have a drink to relax. When you’re ready, get comfortable and slowly try it out on yourself. The beginning of a new relationship is always the most exciting.
I think my boyfriend has a drinking problem. How do I talk to him about it? He’s great, but the excessive boozing is a deal breaker.
—Stephanie, Murray Hill
Your boyfriend could be a great person, but if he’s an alcoholic, he’s likely doing some really not-great things when he’s drunk. Find a time to talk to him when he’s sober, and start the conversation with, “I love you, but I’m concerned about your drinking habits.” If there are specific instances in which he’s done something that hurt or worried you, bring them up. Hopefully he’s open to what you have to say, but if he doesn’t take your concerns seriously, you’d be wise to move on.
Two years ago, my boyfriend told me he didn’t like going down on me because of my scent. We immediately implemented the “shower first” rule, but I still can’t stop thinking about my smell. He says he’ll tell me if there’s ever an issue, but I can’t relax when he goes down on me, which means I don’t come. How can I move past this?
—Cari, Long Island
Most of the time, any smell you’ve got down there is natural; the vagina keeps itself clean and doesn’t need regular douching or any smell masking, despite what feminine hygiene companies would like us to believe. But if you’ve been showering before oral sex (man, that sounds exhausting) and your boyfriend is comfortable, then an “issue” only exists in your head. Try to use mind over matter to move forward: Meditate over a positive mantra about your vagina for 10 minutes (don’t knock it till you try it—the mind is powerful!), and see how it affects your confidence level. If some serious self-love isn’t enough, make an appointment with a sex therapist. You deserve to get great head, Cari!