Status success stories


Hi Emily,
I wanted to write in to share my experience as I think it could help others. I’m a mother of two and have a husband I adore. After the second birth I felt pain during intercourse. I tried to ignore it as having a baby and a three-year old pushed sex down my list of priorities anyway.

Over time, my libido disappeared and I was tense when we did have sex because it hurt. I never told my husband and just tried to get on with it. I had some pain in and around my vagina day-to-day too and eventually went to my doctor for advice. She found tiny lesions in my vagina and on my labia and perineum that were probably caused by lack of lubrication. We always use lube during sex so she wasn’t sure why I had these.

She suggested salt baths (a handful per bath) to help prevent any infections and I have to say they really helped ease the discomfort.

I spoke to you around that time too and shared that I wasn’t that sure I even wanted to get my sex life back on track. You told me to slow down and think about what I really wanted, which I did. I realised that sex is such a fundamental part of our relationship and I love my husband so I decided to make efforts.

I bought nice candles, sexy sleep-wear and some new toys and lube. I changed my approach to sex by making an effort and making it more sensual, my husband loved it and that energised me.

I got myself some Replens which is a female vaginal moisturiser. I use it every few days and it keeps me from feeling dry and uncomfortable. If I know we’re going to have sex I use it before as well and my husband takes the extra wetness as a sign that I’m more turned on and into sex which he loves.

We’re in a very good place now and sex doesn’t hurt me anymore. I can’t believe I waited three years to get this sorted and hope this letter might help others to get help sooner.


Dear reader,
Thank you so much for your inspiring mail. You found the problem by getting examined, decided to fix the problem, discovered products that helped, and made big efforts. Fantastic!

The lesions you describe are common for women who aren’t lubricating enough and the pain can be ongoing, not just during sex. The lesions can be so small they’re hard to see with the naked eye but the sensation is often that of burning or rawness. Menopause, child-birth, medications (such as birth control, pain meds, anti-depressants), drugs, stress and poor diet can all cause dryness.

Replens is a well-known and established product and that works for millions of women. However, it’s worth reading the ingredients of any product you’re putting in your vagina as it’s as porous as your mouth.

I got a tip from a post-menopausal woman recently who suffered with the same lesions during penetration. She got herself some Vitamin E oil (30,000 IU) and straight after intercourse, she applies the oil with her fingers inside her vagina and on her vulva. She reports that this has totally stopped any pain after penetration and day-to-day. You need to read ingredients on products that claim to be pure too as they may have added ingredients that don’t suit you.

Other women find a topical oestrogen cream works wonders for this problem but it isn’t suitable for all women.

I’m delighted to hear that you found a way to inject novelty into your sex life. Often it feels too simple so people won’t try, but if you change the environment, and your approach to sex, you may very well discover the act also changes enough to feel exciting again. Never stop learning!



Status sex toys


Why use things like toys to enhance your love/sex life. Isn’t flesh on flesh more meaningful?


Enhance is right. It’s totally subjective. If you love skin on skin and so does your partner and you don’t feel the need for toys, don’t have them.
But if you’d like more variety in your sexual styles, masturbation and orgasms, toys are fantastic. It’s great to be able to bring yourself and your partner to orgasm without toys but there are many things hands and mouths can’t do that toys can.

Some people find it really hard or impossible to orgasm without a toy and it’s important that they don’t miss out on their sexual pleasure by limiting their options. Variety is the spice of great sex so why not experiment before dismissing all toys?

There are gorgeous toys now that do and don’t look like penises, and many that are great for stimulation of the external clitoris which is how most women orgasm.
You can get great toys to stimulate and strengthen the pelvic floor. A stronger pelvic floor will enhance orgasms as well as help with bladder control.

A gentle vibrator can be fabulous on a penis, testicles and perineum and can help with erections and orgasms for men. And then there are toys for anal play that can be used by anyone who enjoys a bit of anal loving. There are great masturbation sleeves for men that can help them with ejaculatory control if used right. We’re even getting virtual reality equipment that can drop you into the middle of a porn scene. There are remote vibrators that a partner can control via their phone from anywhere in the world so they can feel connected to, and take part in, their partner’s sexual pleasure.

The bottom line is that if you don’t like toys right now, don’t use them. But as with all things in life, it’s much more fun if you’re open to possibilities.



How do I get rid of the horrible smell from my vibrator?


First things first, vaginas are as porous as mouths so if you care about nasty chemicals entering your body, it makes sense to be careful about your sex toys. So knowing what you’re putting in your body is important.The nasty smell often comes from phthalates that are used to make toys soft, bendy, jelly-like or skin-like. These toys are porous so are more likely to hold bacteria from your own body and can’t be cleaned as effectively as non-porous toys that can often be boiled or run through the dishwasher (check cleaning instructions). It’s important to keep your toys clean.

Badly produced sex toys tend to smell. High quality, medical grade silicone, borosilicate (or “Pyrex”) glass, or stainless steel toys really don’t. Unfortunately cost isn’t always an indicator of safety and neither are the claims on the box as sex toy production isn’t regulated. While body-safe toys tend to be more pricey, unsafe toys can cost just as much.

A sure way to know you’re buying body-safe toys is to buy from who pride themselves on providing all body-safe toys (and they’re Irish), and if you want to learn more about toy safety you can get great reviews on or
However, if you’re buying your first toy and don’t want to invest in something you may not enjoy, or if you’ve already got a toy you love that is probably full of phthalates, pop a condom over it and use away. But you’ll have to live with the smell unfortunately.



I’m finding our sex-life has got a bit boring and I want to surprise my wife with her first sex toy. Where do I start?


Don’t surprise her. A first toy needs to be inviting and easy to use. There is so much variety now that expecting to pick her perfect toy is nigh on impossible. What you imagine she’d like may be very different to what she’d choose.

But if you’re determined to surprise her, I’d suggest a small, powerful, external vibrator made of body-safe silicone as a starter toy.

Check out for useful video reviews of toys before you buy.



Status coming out


I’m from a small town and it’s normal there to slag people off as “gay” or “fags”. I’ve gone along with everyone else and it’s always been a laugh. I left home two years ago to go to college and I’ve started hooking up with guys recently and I really like it. I’m not interested in girls and realise I never really was. I’m terrified someone at home will find out. I think my family would disown me and my friends would dump me. I don’t know what to do.


I’m delighted to hear you’ve found fun and connection at college. Being away from home can provide crucial space for self-exploration and exposure to new values and behaviours.

It really isn’t anyone’s business who you’re sleeping with, and if you were sleeping with girls we probably wouldn’t be corresponding. It’s unfair and unjust that people who are trying to find their way sexually, need worry about being “outed” or explaining themselves before they’re ready (if ever).

Following your heart, finding fun and happiness, and being true to yourself is what most parents really want for their kids, and that’s what you’re doing. But when it comes to sexuality, people feel they have a right to dictate. “I want you to be happy, but it has to be my way”. Just because they have strong views, doesn’t make them right, and it sure doesn’t make you wrong.

Unfortunately, Ireland is really small and people talk, so there’s always a chance word could get back to your hometown. I can’t say how your people will react, but I can suggest that you dive deeply into your social life and make good friends who know you and love you for who you are. Be a good friend and be proud of the person you’re becoming.

The important thing is that you get solid and strong in your identity, with good friends. If you need more help coming to terms with your same-sex attraction, consider counselling from an LGBTQI friendly counsellor. It’s impossible to be Irish and not homophobic, even for many same-sex attracted people. Jokes and stereotyping are the thin end of the wedge, and unfortunately calling someone “gay” is at best, used without thought, and at worst used as a weapon on hatred.

One might see you’re coming out as a gift to people who otherwise may go through life not realising their language is offensive, or that their values are archaic and harmful.

Be happy, be healthy and be proud. Contact me any time and know that you have support and love and that this mail will probably help others in a similar situation.



Can a straight man have sex with men and still be straight? I’m married to a woman for 15 years. Sex is fine but a bit boring and routine. She’s not into new things or experimenting so we do the same things all the time. I’ve been getting more interested in the idea of having sex with men recently and have started going to places to watch men have sex. It’s really exciting and I’ve had offers. If my wife can’t give me what I want, is it wrong to get it elsewhere?


The days of understanding attraction/orientation as binary are long gone, as we now know that orientation is a continuum. At one end of the spectrum are the purely same-sex attracted, and at the other are the totally straight. The majority slide up and down the scale at different times in our lives, depending on how open we are to our fluidity.

Binary labels of “gay” or “straight” can create extra blocks for those who wish to slide on the spectrum. There’s nothing wrong with “gay” sex or being attracted to men. But your situation is more complicated than that.

In Australia a large study found that 40% of men who identify as “straight”, have sex with other men. Generally the sex they have is anonymous, unsafe and somewhat demeaning (at least in their heads) because they’re homophobic and can’t accept that part of themselves, or the men they’re having sex with. They’re often in heterosexual, monogamous relationships with women who have no idea. Many of these men state that they can’t ask for the sex they want from their women, and they like being able to compartmentalise sex with men as meeting a need rather than an orientation, or cheating.

You’re married, so going outside the relationship without the agreement of your wife, no matter who it’s with, is not okay. It’s cheating. You can’t compartmentalise it because it’s with men, and you can’t diminish the act because it’s “only sex”.

Lots of men get bored in their relationship and those that look for excitement don’t always look to men. You may be entering a new phase in your life that includes sex with men. It would be a pity to have it sullied by cheating on your wife. Tell your wife how you feel about your sex life and be clear that you need more. But before you do that, take some time to understand your attraction to men because I suspect it may be more than simple boredom. If you were having red-hot sex with your wife would you forget about men?

You have every right to enjoy sex with other men, but you don’t have a right to cheat on your wife. It’s that simple. By doing so, you steal her opportunity to make a choice based on all the facts. Right now, she chooses to be married to a man who is monogamous and she thinks she has all the information. If you want to open up the marriage and have sex with other people, she needs that information so she can choose to stay or go.

Sex with other men is not the issue. Going outside the relationship without your partner’s agreement is. I wish you well.



I walked in on my daughter and her friend a few weeks ago. They were clearly snogging and were mortified. I was mortified. They’re both girls, and 15. I had no idea my daughter is a lesbian. I held my ground and they scooped themselves up and the friend left. I told my daughter she wasn’t to have her round on her own any more and if they kept that behaviour up I’d tell the other parents. I don’t know what to do. She’s not talking to me now. I never thought this would happen to me. Her dad would go ballistic. Could it just be a phase? What can I do to encourage her to date boys when she’s old enough?


What a surprise you must have got! It’s always a surprise for any parent the first time they see their child kissing anyone. But at 15, it’s perfectly normal and healthy for kids to be kissing and exploring their bodies and pleasure. Would you have reacted differently if you caught her kissing a boy at this age?

There’s no way to know that your daughter is a lesbian from what you’ve seen. Orientation is not a binary system where everyone is either gay or straight. It’s a continuum, and many people find themselves at different points on the continuum throughout their lives.

What you saw was your daughter exploring pleasure with a friend she feels safe with. Maybe she’ll kiss more girls, maybe not. Maybe she’ll fall in love with someone who doesn’t identify as either male or female. There’s nothing you can do to “encourage” her to date boys because if she doesn’t find them attractive, you’ll be expecting her to go against her heart.

This hasn’t happened to you. You’ve happened to your daughter. You only know what you saw, and that’s not enough to make any judgments on her sexuality at this point. If you have a problem with her kissing anyone at 15, you need to sit her down and explain rationally why that is. If your problem is with her kissing a girl, I suggest you educate yourself about same sex attraction, teenage girls experimenting, and just how damaging a parent’s negative reaction can be.

This could be an amazing time for you and your daughter to bond over one of her early experiences. I wonder how she’d feel if you were excited for her and willing to listen to her? I’m sure she has lots of fears and hopes and questions. You could be such a great support to her or, you could maintain your stance and the rift between you, which may impact any future wish on her part to tell you anything.

You have an amazing opportunity here to be an incredible parent. I hope you can find it in your heart to leave your comfort zone and to reach out to her with an open heart and a quiet mouth.



Status porn use


I’m 19 and I watch a lot of porn. I started with straight, vanilla stuff and kept going. Now I get more turned on by gay porn than by straight or girl on girl porn. Does this mean I’m gay?

Arousal – and ultimately orgasm – becomes synonymous with whatever you’re watching. If you watch gay porn and masturbate, it’s easy to imagine that you must be gay because you have an erection and have orgasms while watching men have sex. However, just because they may happen all at the same time, does not mean that one causes the other.

Studies of how straight men watch porn show that they tend to focus on the penis going into the orifice. The orifice may be a vagina, anus or mouth. The focus is on the penis and orifice and not on the bodies or people. After a while it becomes easier to watch any penis going into any orifice regardless of sex or gender.

Anal sex is a part of pretty much any mainstream porn these days and there are lots of close-ups where the rest of the bodies are out of shot. So watching a penis penetrating an anus becomes the focus rather than a man penetrating a woman.

Some straight men enjoy watching gay porn because it’s taboo and others because they’re open to all sorts of turn ons and this is just another one.

The bottom line is, watching gay porn doesn’t make you gay. You might be gay, but your porn viewing won’t turn you gay, though it’s often a great way for guys to explore and discover things they might like to try in real life.

I’d suggest getting out there and meeting some real people for some real dates and see how it goes. It’s all theory until you hold a person in your arms and feel your heart miss a beat.



I’m looking for some porn I can watch with my girlfriend who won’t watch the usual pornhub stuff.


Watching porn together can be a real turn on if you find the right stuff. Most women don’t like mainstream porn because they find it repetitive and boring, while others worry about people being abused in the industry. But due to demand, a new kind of porn production has emerged. Ethical or Feminist porn is usually made by women and ensures that all the people involved in the film production are treated and paid well and love what they do.

It’s not all soft lighting and fairy stories either, with plenty of variety to meet most needs, including hardcore and kink. Some genres will have a storyline and others are straight to the action. All kinds of people perform in ethical porn but they’re empowered and respected, and you get to see people touching and caressing and communicating. Ethical porn sex is hot and the orgasms are real, which means you get off and get educated all at the same time. And you’re going to love the homework!

Check out a few sites with your girl and let her choose.,,



I’ve been in a relationship with a man for about 18 months. We moved in together about three months ago and about a month ago I found out he watches porn a lot. I knew he watched porn but I’m really angry. I think it should stop when you’re living with someone and are having lots of sex with a real person. What do you think?


It sounds like you might believe that porn is something that only single people use as compensation for not having sex with a real person. But people watch porn for all sorts of reasons and lots have watched porn since childhood whether in or out of relationships. It sounds like you knew he watched porn but had an expectation that it would stop when you moved in together, while he may have had a different expectation around continuing as before.

This is an example of how couples make big life decisions without discussing expectations around those decisions. While living together does have certain universal meanings: sharing a roof, bills, food and time, the devil is in the detail, and the less specific you are around the details, the more opportunity there is for obstacles to appear down the line. Now this obstacle has appeared, you’ll need to slow down and talk it through without blame or defensiveness.

The first thing you need to do is get clear about what bothers you and what you’re willing and unwilling to compromise on. Why does it bother you so much that he’s still watching porn? Do you dislike porn itself? Is it the amount of time he spends viewing? Do you take his porn viewing as a sign that you’re not enough? Does it feel like cheating? Once you’ve had time to reflect you can communicate more clearly and find a solution based on both your needs.

How the communication goes will depend on how well you’re able to talk about difficult subjects and how willing you are to disagree and still love each other. Many relationships end due to poor communication rather than the issue needing resolution, so don’t be afraid to get some counselling to help you find your way through this.

It’s likely he’ll need to tweak his viewing now that he lives with you, the same way you’ll both have to tweak how you shop, spend money, clean and plan generally. But if his watching porn has an emotional impact on you then he needs to know so he can understand why it’s important for you that he changes. However, the bottom line is, if the relationship is a good one, and you feel loved, important, respected and fancied, you may need to do some tweaking of your own regarding how he spends his personal time.

Sometimes the best relationship isn’t the one where both partners agree, but the one where they disagree and love each other anyway.



I’m worried my penis is too small to be good in bed. I’ve slept with loads of women and only a couple have had orgasms during sex. I can last about 30 minutes and am training myself to last longer. What can I do to make my penis bigger?


I don’t know how big your penis is erect, but I can tell you that the average penis size is about 5 inches, depending on where you measure from (the underneath or the top-side of the base).

I’m curious to know who you’re comparing yourself to and where you get your information on what makes sex “good”. We’re bombarded with the message that “big is better” whether it’s cars, houses, boobs or penises.
Porn compounds this idea by feeding the male fantasy that big penises are desirable and necessary for great sex. But we have to remember that porn is not real and the things that porn actors appear to desire and enjoy are often not real either.

Remember the women you’re watching in porn are doing a job and they are acting. In real life, most women don’t want to be called sluts, they don’t want to “deep-throat” or have men ejaculate on their faces, and they don’t want to have prolonged intercourse with huge penises.

It’s not all about the length of your penis either. Vaginal canals vary in length and the average vaginal canal (which can expand with arousal) is similar to the average penis in length. If you can feel the tip of your penis hitting off something during deep penetration, it means you’ve reached her cervix.

In fact, men with long penises often want the feeling of deep penetration but will never experience it because there isn’t a vagina long enough for them. Men with smaller penises can engage in deeper, harder penetration without hitting their partner’s cervix. Hitting the cervix can be anything from uncomfortable to excruciating for women and usually needs to be avoided.

Real sex isn’t about stretching and hurting and pushing your partner to her limits. It’s about pleasure for both of you. Most women prefer smaller penises when giving oral as they don’t want to gag or get a sore jaw. Smaller is often preferred for anal play too, and some women don’t even want penetration.

About 85% of women don’t orgasm from penetration alone, so it sounds about right that only a couple of women have orgasmed during penetrative sex. I recommend you shift your focus from the size of your penis to your tongue and finger skills. The evidence is deafening: women much prefer a lover with a smaller or average penis who knows how to arouse them in a multitude of ways, rather than a man who thinks all he needs is a big penis and lacks skills. I’d question your need to last longer than 30 minutes too!



Status painful sex


I’m 23 and have had sex five times since I was 20. It has hurt every time and leaves me feeling like I’m burning inside. I’ve met a guy I like and we’ve been on a few dates. I know he’s going to expect sex soon and I can’t face the disappointment again. Makes me want to give up dating.


Painful sex is very common in women and quite common in men. While pain varies along with its cause, yours sounds like it could be caused by lack of lubrication.

As our sex ed is based on biology and not on pleasure, all we really learn is that the penis goes in the vagina. But in order for that to be comfortable and pleasurable, the female needs time to lubricate. This creates a natural slipperiness so that the penis can glide in without hurting. As this information is not available, many couples attempt penetration the first time before they are physically ready, and it only takes a couple of painful experiences to set a pain expectation.

Once the expectation is there, the muscles at the entrance to the vagina can tighten to protect you from the expected pain. This can be the start of vaginismus when the muscles become so tight that penetration is agony or impossible. In your case it sounds like the pain is inside your vagina, and that burning feeling is often due to tiny little lesions caused by friction from the penis moving inside dry vaginal walls. You may feel wet on the outside but may not be wet enough on the inside.

Get yourself some really nice organic water-based lubrication such as Yes Yes Yes and experiment alone first. Take your time and breath slowly and deeply. Apply plenty of lube to your fingers and slowly start playing at the entrance to your vagina using circular motions. Once you feel ready, try slipping a well lubed finger inside. If that feels okay, add more lube and try two then three fingers. If there’s no pain during or after, the problem has probably been lack of lubrication.

In porn and most movies, penetration happens almost instantly and the things modelled as arousing may not be in real life. So the more you explore on your own and learn what you like, the easier it will be to tell a partner. If they don’t want to slow down and give you time that is a reflection of their knowledge and skills. There’s nothing wrong with you.

While many women lubricate naturally with enough stimulation, all women will need a good lube at some stage. Just because you’re turned on in your head doesn’t always mean you’ll lubricate. Some contraceptives are notorious for killing natural lubrication, as are anti-histamines. Learn what you need to feel really turned on and don’t settle for a partner who’s only interested in his own pleasure!



Status lubrication


You talk about good lubrication a lot but what’s the difference between all the different kinds and how do I choose?


Great question. Your lube is a personal choice and there isn’t one lube that everyone will love. Here’s a brief outline of the types of lubes available and what you can expect. If you care about what you put in your body and try to buy organic, then an organic lube makes sense as your vagina is as absorbent as your mouth.

If you’re prone to thrush or UTI’s, avoid lubes loaded with sugar or fructose. Manufacturers seem to be copping on to the need for non-sugar products for those prone to yeast infections but also for diabetics and those watching their blood sugar levels.

Aspartame is an alternative sweetener often used so if you’re okay with that, it’s a good alternative to sugar. Glycerine is similar to sugar and is used to add slip to water-based lubes. While it may not act like sugar, some people have reactions to it.

Lubes sold for oral play are usually flavoured and sweetened, and if a lube claims to warm, cool, tingle, is flavoured or scented, it’s likely to have ingredients that could irritate so always read the ingredients.

Water based lubes:
Clean, no mess, can be used with toys and condoms. The consistency is usually quite water like and it can dry quickly and get sticky. Reapply often

Silicone lubes:
Thicker than water-based, safe with condoms but not with silicone toys (pop a condom over your toy-problem solved). Often a better choice if prone to dryness as it isn’t absorbed as quickly as water-based.

Hybrid lubes:
Combination of silicone and water-based. Stays slippery longer than water, often safe with silicone toys

Oil based lubes:
Moisturising, long-lasting, lovely for massage, messy, can stain, can irritate, safe with toys but not with condoms. You can opt for a natural nut oil such as organic coconut oil you cook with, or sweet almond oil. Or you can buy oil based lubes that are often thicker and may last longer but AVOID PETROLIUM! This can leave a thin film of oil inside your vagina that catches and hold bacteria and can lead to irritation.

I recommend Yes Yes Yes Organic water based Lube (in a pale green tube) sold in some chemists and health stores, or Sliquid Organic lube



Status female orgasms


I’m married for 10 years, I have two lovely children. Main problem with lovemaking is that I come very quickly (within 2 or 3 mins) and I am the woman! I have googled this problem and haven’t found out why this is happening. Very frustrating, but my other half is very patient and understanding. I usually have to finish him “manually”…. please help.


Firstly – well done to you for having orgasms so quickly and easily! There’s no reason for sex to end when you orgasm. Women can have numerous orgasms one after the other. I wonder if you reach orgasm from clitoral stimulation and then find that you become too sensitive for any touch directly after. This is quite normal but it doesn’t tend to last more than a couple of minutes. Stimulate your partner, kiss, caress and then go again. You may find that the second, third, fourth orgasms will vary in length, intensity and speed.

You say you have to finish him “manually”. Perhaps you orgasm during penetration and then become too sensitive to keep his penis inside you. Your muscles may be tense after your orgasm and may need a little time to relax. You can keep him inside, but both remain still while you breathe deeply into your vaginal muscles for release, or remove his penis and do something else for a few minutes and then try again. Make sure you’re very well lubricated when you try re-insertion as you can dry up quickly after an orgasm.

If one orgasm is enough (though I strongly urge you to challenge that view), you can try new ways to get to that orgasm that might slow things down. Your partner could tease you and bring you close to orgasm, and with practice, keep you on the edge before you finally climax. The bottom line is don’t give up and do experiment until you find ways to prolong your pleasure.



I’m a woman and have never orgasmed with a partner. I can make myself come, so know it’s possible. I hear oral helps my chances but I’m so full of anxiety that I never enjoy it. What’s going on? My current partner is a gorgeous lover and it’s the first time I’ve felt present when making love.


This is a great question. It’s brilliant that you’re an orgasmic woman! As I don’t know why receiving oral makes you anxious, I’m not going to give you tips on how to enjoy it as the anxiety needs to be addressed first. If it makes you anxious, it’s not your route to orgasm. Let it go for now.

I’d love to know the difference for you between having orgasms solo and with a partner. If it’s due to feeling exposed, self-conscious or there’s anxiety or a fear of letting go, building trust and confidence will need to be prioritised. I’d take orgasm off the agenda for a while and focus more on how to feel even safer than you already do. Context is everything for great sex so while it may feel counter-intuitive, spending more time on feeling deeply connected and intimate usually works better than focusing on sexual skills.

First, learn some relaxation techniques and practice deep breathing for ten minutes a day so that you learn what it feels like to be calm and grounded. That’s the feeling you want entering into sexual play. This takes practice and works well if you can clue your lover in so they can help. It can feel very intimate to have a partner notice and slow you down rather than carrying on regardless. This is a couples issue so work together if you can.

Find the point at which you begin to feel less present and stay there, breathing deeply, until you can ground yourself. Then move on. Tiny steps are the most reliable, and forcing yourself just doesn’t work. Compassion and patience are your friends. Being self-critical is about as unsexy as you can get so watch your thoughts.

Women can take up to forty minutes to become fully aroused so take your time, and if you don’t have a lot of time, alter your expectations to remove pressure. Give yourself permission not to orgasm and instead to bask in sexual pleasure and arousal. You may be surprised at the outcome.



I’m 32 and can masturbate to orgasm in about three minutes and it’s nice, but not earth-shaking. Are women who have those massive screaming orgasms faking?


There’s no such thing as a bad orgasm. They’re all fabulous, but they do vary hugely. If you engage in the same self-love/masturbation every time, you’ll probably have quite similar orgasms.

Women have internal clitorises and they take time to get warmed up and erect. If you’re spending three minutes on your orgasm, odds are the orgasm is stemming just from the external glans of your clitoris. If you take more time and stimulate yourself to bring blood to the internal clitoris, there’s a good chance you’ll start experiencing a greater variety of orgasms.

As we become more goal orientated more of us are tending towards the quickie when it comes to masturbation. I prefer the term “self love” as it reminds us to slow down and love ourselves to orgasm rather than rushing to the clitoris and banging one out as quickly as possible.

Try giving yourself 30-40 minutes three times a week to explore your body and senses. Create a transitional ritual like having a nice shower or bath to help you shift from your busy day to an attitude of curiosity and self-affection.

Start with some deep breathing and bring your attention to your body. Let worries and tasks pass by and don’t hold on to them. Bring your focus back to your body and sensations. Think sexy thoughts. Remember past sexual encounters you enjoyed or imagine new ones where you are everything you’d like to be.

Figure out how you like to touch yourself all over. Try soft, teasing touch as well as firmer massage. Massaging your vulva can be exquisite if you start soft and build the pressure. Rock your pelvis as though you’re having sex and squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles to replicate penetration if you like that.

If you usually use porn, try watching longer scenes and find stuff that really turns you on. Don’t jump from window to window and allow your imagination to fill in the boring bits.

This is a skill so don’t expect results first time. Go through this routine and if nothing has happened, revert to your usual style of self-pleasure for orgasm and see if it’s different because you’ve spent more time warming up. Always finish with an orgasm and keep practicing.



I’m 24 and in my second serious relationship. We’re together a year and I’m mad about him. I’ve never been able to orgasm and my boyfriend says all the girls he’s been with before me came easily during sex. He’s more experienced than me so I must be doing something wrong. How can I fix this?


I’m delighted to hear you’re mad about your partner and are curious about becoming orgasmic. I hope you and your partner can read my answer together and work as a team towards fantastic orgasmic sex!

Here are some facts that might help you both to understand the complexities of female orgasm.

On the left is a basic diagram of a vulva with the clitoral glans and prepuce/shaft showing externally (note: vagina is to vulva, as mouth is to face). The one on the right shows the internal clitoris, which was only scientifically acknowledged in the 90’s and is still unknown by most. The super-sensitive glans has as many nerve endings as a whole penis and has a hood like a foreskin to protect it.

The clitoris averages about 5 inches in length and becomes erect just like a penis. When this happens it swells and can throb and ache, and can provide a wider variety of deeper orgasms as the whole clitoris contracts deliciously causing delightful spasms in the pelvic floor, vagina, anus etc…

The skin on vulvas and clitorises is particularly soft and sensitive to friction, so as with any play involving genitals, use a good organic lube (spit is not the same as lube).

The vast majority of women don’t orgasm through penetration alone and need external clitoral stimulation before and during penetration.

When stimulating the external clitoris DO NOT go straight for the glans and start rubbing. Many women never need direct stimulation to reach orgasm but every woman is different so don’t assume the moves that worked on your last partner will work now. For example, some women have obvious clitoral shafts that you can give tiny hand-jobs to using your lubed fingers, and some don’t.

Ask for feedback and when you find something that works, keep doing it. DON’T speed up, add more pressure or change technique unless directed to.

Begin with a long session of gentle teasing and exploration. Start on the outside of the vulva using the outer lips or labia as a buffer between your mouth/hands and the clitoris. Try kissing her labia the way you’d kiss her mouth. There’s a nerve cluster at the vaginal entrance so don’t focus solely on the clitoral area.

A full female erection can take at least 40 minutes of skilled and varied play, including gentle teasing, building anticipation, vulva massage, and indirect clitoral stimulation. Deep breathing, rocking your pelvis and clenching and releasing your pc muscles also help to bring blood to the internal clitoris.

On the other hand, direct, rushed external clitoral stimulation can easily speed a woman past the exit to orgasm-land and straight into over-sensitivity. That’s a cue to stop all stimulation and allow time for recovery.

DO NOT insert anything until your woman tells you to as this is really unsexy for many women.

DO NOT use porn as a teaching tool for great oral sex. That’s like watching the Fast and Furious and then thinking you can drive. It’s not real and it’s not helpful.

DO NOT compare your current lover to past lovers – particularly negatively – and then expect them to enjoy sex with you. How would you feel?

DO NOT give all the responsibility for your orgasms to your male partner. They don’t have a vulva and clitoris so how are they supposed to know what to do with yours without your guidance? That’s like telling them to drive you to Donegal without having a map!

Finally, the best way to become orgasmic is through masturbation while alone, where there’s nobody else to please. Once you can do that, you can teach your lover based on experience. Ask yourself what’s stopped you thus far from learning to orgasm alone? If masturbation freaks you out, speaking to professionals or friends, or finding sex positive websites, can help. Check out, and “The Elusive Orgasm” by Dr Vivian Cass to get you started. Best of luck!



I’ve been with three different men so far. One was a one-night stand, one was a six-month relationship and now I’m with someone for three months. I’ve never had an orgasm even though I enjoy sex. What am I doing wrong? I’m 21.


It’s great that you enjoy penetrative sex and that you’re curious about orgasms. I don’t blame you! Only about 15 – 20% of women orgasm through penetration alone. You’re part of the majority of women who need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, and there’s nothing wrong with you.

The best way to have an orgasm is to practice on your own so there’s no pressure to please anyone else, and you can concentrate and relax into your pleasure. Women who masturbate tend to have better and more orgasms with partners, because they know their own bodies and arousal. Of course, they also need to teach their partner what to do, which is a skill in itself and may need practice.

But for now, I suggest you give yourself some private time in a warm, comfortable room. Get a mirror and have a good look at your vulva, and learn where your clitoris is. Get some nice organic coconut oil (or sweet almond oil) and begin gently and slowly exploring all of your vulva to find out what feels good. Take your time and remember to breath. Don’t try to bring yourself to orgasm while you’re still exploring your anatomy. Just get comfortable with your body and be curious.

I prefer the term “self-loving” or “self-pleasure” to masturbation because the idea is to love your body, your genitals and your sexuality. Touch yourself with care and affection and praise yourself for being a beautiful, sexual woman. Your thoughts are probably the most powerful component of self-loving and to orgasm. They can be sexy or undermining. Your body will react accordingly to which ever type of thought you have. So practice being loving in your mind as well as with your hands.

Tell your partner that you need him to slow down and spend time gently touching you. Women can take up to 40 minutes to orgasm. It’s not like the movies, or porn. The trick is to slow down and savour the journey to orgasm, and not just the orgasm. The longer you both take to reach your destination, the more powerful your orgasms could be.
Get yourself The Elusive Orgasm by Dr Vivienne Cass for a step-by-step guide to orgasm.



Status female oral pleasure


My boyfriend wants to go down on me but I’m way too embarrassed and worried about the smell and taste. How could anyone really like that?


It’s very common for women to worry about the look/taste/smell of their vulvas and vaginas. I wonder why you’re embarrassed. Women’s vulvas vary as much as their faces. While we all share features, they can be totally unique in size, colour, shape, positioning and hair cover. Google The Great Wall of Vagina to get an idea of the variety (you won’t see hair as casting vulvas with hair would mean agonising waxing!)

Have you ever tasted and smelled your own juices? It’s worth doing, so you know what you’re worrying about. But you need to do it repeatedly to get an idea of how your juices change throughout the month due to hormones, or after certain foods and drinks. Many women find it’s really not that bad and at worst, feel indifferent to the taste and smell.

But no matter what you think, it’s not reasonable to enforce your tastes on anyone else. If you go to a restaurant and order chicken while he orders steak, would you tell him he can’t have steak because you only like white meat? Is it reasonable to prevent him from drinking Guinness because you like wine? What’s the difference? The sheer enjoyment many people experience while giving oral pleasure to their female partner is unique and subjective. It’s a sensual pleasure just like food, drink, art and music. Life is made all the richer by variety in tastes and desires. Imagine a life where everyone had to like the same things!
So give it a try but start off slow. Ask him to begin by kissing and stroking your tummy and inner thighs. Keep your underwear on at first and get used to his mouth on your vulva that way. You’ll feel heat, moisture and breath. Get him to check with you before he goes further, and know that you can stop any time. That may be enough for a few weeks. Then try it naked with him kissing your outer lips without opening them. Get used to how that feels and if you like it, keep going. Your job is to breathe deeply and quiet your worried thoughts. Ask him to tell you he loves it throughout so you can feel reassured. Ask him not to jump to your clitoris until you’re used to his mouth there as it may feel like overload.



Status body image


I’m way too shy to let anyone see my body naked. I look like a starving child, even though I’m 19. People tell me I look great, but they can’t see how thin I am under the layers. I eat lots but just can’t put on weight so I’m stuck like this.


If you haven’t already, get yourself some professional advice on gaining weight as there may be a reason such as your body not absorbing nutrients from food, a hormonal imbalance, a fast metabolism, or an overactive thyroid.

Whether you find a cause or not, it’s time to acknowledge that, despite our social conditioning, there is no “one size fits all” for attractiveness, and I say Amen to that!

Try getting naked in front of a mirror and look at your body with appreciation for what it can do for you, rather than how it looks. Can you feel pleasure? Can you give pleasure? What parts of your body give/feel most pleasure? With regular practice (every day), you may begin to find more things to like.

Add ways of showing love to your body by using your favourite soaps and potions, and wearing things that make you feel good. Self-loving is a great way to learn to love your body for the pleasure it can give you.

The most valued aspect of any lover is confidence and knowing what they like, no matter what shape or size a person is.



Status penises


I’m worried my penis is too small to be good in bed. I’ve slept with loads of women and only a couple have had orgasms during sex. I can last about 30 minutes and am training myself to last longer. What can I do to make my penis bigger?


I don’t know how big your penis is erect, but I can tell you that the average penis size is about 5 inches, depending on where you measure from (the underneath or the top-side of the base).

I’m curious to know who you’re comparing yourself to and where you get your information on what makes sex “good”. We’re bombarded with the message that “big is better” whether it’s cars, houses, boobs or penises.
Porn compounds this idea by feeding the male fantasy that big penises are desirable and necessary for great sex. But we have to remember that porn is not real and the things that porn actors appear to desire and enjoy are often not real either.

Remember the women you’re watching in porn are doing a job and they are acting. In real life, most women don’t want to be called sluts, they don’t want to “deep-throat” or have men ejaculate on their faces, and they don’t want to have prolonged intercourse with huge penises.

It’s not all about the length of your penis either. Vaginal canals vary in length and the average vaginal canal (which can expand with arousal) is similar to the average penis in length. If you can feel the tip of your penis hitting off something during deep penetration, it means you’ve reached her cervix.

In fact, men with long penises often want the feeling of deep penetration but will never experience it because there isn’t a vagina long enough for them. Men with smaller penises can engage in deeper, harder penetration without hitting their partner’s cervix. Hitting the cervix can be anything from uncomfortable to excruciating for women and usually needs to be avoided.

Real sex isn’t about stretching and hurting and pushing your partner to her limits. It’s about pleasure for both of you. Most women prefer smaller penises when giving oral as they don’t want to gag or get a sore jaw. Smaller is often preferred for anal play too, and some women don’t even want penetration.

About 85% of women don’t orgasm from penetration alone, so it sounds about right that only a couple of women have orgasmed during penetrative sex. I recommend you shift your focus from the size of your penis to your tongue and finger skills. The evidence is deafening: women much prefer a lover with a smaller or average penis who knows how to arouse them in a multitude of ways, rather than a man who thinks all he needs is a big penis and lacks skills. I’d question your need to last longer than 30 minutes too!



I could do with a little help with my erections sometimes. I’m in my 40’s, healthy and fit. I don’t smoke and drink moderately. I eat fairly well and I fancy my wife. So I think it’s just usual age stuff. I don’t want to take Viagra as I only get a bit soft sometimes, and I don’t like the sound of the side effects. What else can I do?


You’ve checked a lot of the boxes around your health, fitness, diet and ingestion of alcohol and tobacco. In your 40’s it’s quite natural to start noticing softer erections at times. I agree that it’s not the time for Viagra and would recommend a few other ideas first. I’d like to know if your erections are softer when you’re masturbating and if you’ve noticed a difference in the mornings. If they are softer across the board, go and get your bloods checked first.

Cardio fitness helps erections as they love strong blood flow. So what’s good for the heart is good for the penis. Your penis will thank you for healthy blood pressure, low blood sugar and low cholesterol. Stress is damaging to erections too as adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) flood your system telling your body to forget about erections while it tries to survive.

Next is to strengthen your pelvic floor (PC) muscles. Go online and get yourself some pelvic floor exercises for erections. Pelvic floor strength is great for erections but it’s rarely talked about. Practice clenching the muscles that stop your urine flow and pulling the anus up into the body. Those are your PC muscles working. If you want a more structured approach take a look at to learn more about how important your PC muscles are.

Check that you and your wife are aware of the level of pressure and stimulation your penis needs as you age. While just thinking about your wife may have been enough to keep you hard a decade ago, you’ll need more mental and physical stimulation as you age. So will she by the way!

Masturbation is vitally important for penis health, as long as you’re masturbating in a healthy way. Three-minute hand shandy’s won’t help. Set aside two or three 30 – 40 minute sessions a week to self-pleasure. Massage all your body and all your pelvic region to get warmed up and then massage your penis before it gets erect with some gentle stretching. Bring yourself close to orgasm but then pull back (this is called edging) and try to do this three or four times per session. With a nice lube (organic coconut oil) you can try lots of new strokes, speeds and pressures. This is a penis work-out rather than getting your rocks off.

All these methods are fantastic at any stage and should not only help erections now, but should help keep that little blue pill out of your medicine cabinet.



I’m in a new relationship with a guy I really like but his penis is really long. Is it possible for a penis to be too big? I know I should like it but sometimes I avoid sex because it hurts deep inside and I’m embarrassed to say anything


There’s no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to any sexual act or body part. No two bodies are the same and no two people with have completely matching tastes. One person like might a long penis while another might enjoy a short thick one. There’s nothing wrong with either of you and with a bit of creativity you should be able to find ways to avoid that awful thumping on your cervix.

We all know that penises vary in size but it’s a little known fact that women’s vaginas also vary in length from person to person but also at different times. For example before a period the cervix can drop a little lower in the vagina and be more sensitive, and when really aroused, can raise a little to accommodate the penis. It may be that your vaginal canal is shorter than his penis. The pain you’re feeling deep inside is probably the tip of his penis hitting your cervix. He may really enjoy the sensation as it provides extra stimulation to his penis, so unless you tell him, he may never stop!

Some deep penetration positions (that may hurt you more) include him on top with your knees pulled up, or your legs round his waist or over his shoulders and traditional doggy style with your legs wide apart.

Take control of the thrusts to show him how deep he can go without hurting you. Get him to remain still while inside you and move yourself along his penis. Some good positions for this are you on top or him behind you in spooning position. A slower pace may help too. Once he understands your limits you can try all sorts of things.



Is there a bone in my boner and can it break?


I’ve been asked this before and the answer is that there’s no bone in a boner despite the name. So if there’s no bone, what makes a penis hard? A penis has two tubes called the copora cavernosum that fill with blood making the penis swell and get really hard. Though this is the natural way for any penis to get hard, all penises are different so some get harder or bigger than others. And sometimes the situation you’re in, medication you’re on or how worried you are can affect your erections.

Even though there’s no bone in a penis, there is a tough layer of tissue covering the tubes just under the skin, keeping everything in place. Think of the tubes as inner tubes of a tire that inflate, and the tough layer of tissue as the actual tire around them. Because the tire is so tough and dense, it can get fractured and sometimes there’s even a cracking sound, and it’s called a penis fracture. This can happen if the penis gets bent or squashed when erect. Fracturing your penis is rare, but if it happens, an ice-pack and some anti-inflammatories will help. If after time there’s pain, any little bumps appear or there is any kind of bend in the penis, get it checked out by a urologist. You’ll need to be referred by your GP and the sooner you get checked out the better!