By Ruth Westheimer, King Features Syndicate
3:39 PM EST, January 8, 2013
Q: I'm not sure if I am having real orgasms. When I use a vibrator, I feel more of a pulsating effect, and it is stronger and more pleasurable, but with my husband it is very weak but can be satisfying. I hear women talk about their experiences, and mine seem like nothing when compared with theirs.
I really don't know what an orgasm should feel like or how strong it should be. Movies make it seem so spectacular, and so do some real-life people, but it just isn't that great for me. Can you please tell me what I should be feeling and how to achieve that feeling while having intercourse? I'm 40, but it makes me feel like a little kid, not knowing what they are doing that I'm not.
A: Of course you shouldn't pay attention to what you see in the movies, because the superpowers that movies give to people, from flying to smashing through walls, are just fantasies.
The real answer to your question lies not so much in what you are feeling but in how you feel afterward. Do you feel satisfied by these orgasms, at least those when you use a vibrator? If you do, then don't worry about it. And teach your husband how to either use his fingers or tongue to do what the vibrator does, or have him use the vibrator.
If you don't have that satisfied feeling, then perhaps you should see a sex therapist.
Q: I am a veteran of the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq. I've been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, but the worst of all is erectile dysfunction. I am 50, and so is my wife. She had a full hysterectomy a year ago. I can't get an erection, even if I want to. I have tried looking at porn online, but nothing happened.
My wife is not the kind to initiate, and I have the desire but not the ability. I also was diagnosed with enlarged prostate four years ago, for which I take medication. I have looked everywhere online for the relationship between these symptoms and sex, but I found nothing.
Is there any hope? I love my wife and have been married for 27 years, but my manhood is gone. I am in Puerto Rico (whatever that means to you). Can you help, please?
A: Have you spoken to a medical doctor about this? It's possible that the medication you are taking has a side effect with regard to erections, but only your doctor would be able to answer that question. And then perhaps you could take one of those pills, but, again, only a doctor could prescribe one.
So don't be embarrassed to ask your doctor about your sexual performance. If he or she can help you, the reward will be well worth having to admit your problems. Trust me, it won't be anywhere near as hard as what you went through in combat.
Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost six years. We are Christians and have never had sex; we have been waiting for marriage.
He told me recently that because of not wanting sex outside of marriage, he has completely lost his desire to have sex. He says he does not see it changing when we get married. He says he is physically attracted to me, and he gets aroused during kisses and touches.
I am unsure what to do, because I look forward to having sex within marriage. We are hoping to get married soon.
Is this normal for a guy? Will it pass once we're married? Is it as bad as he thinks it is or would be once we're married? I hope you can shed some light on the matter.
A: If he gets aroused when kissing you, I would say that this should not be a problem when you get married.
But I'm also wondering why he said that to you. Was he trying to either get you to marry him more quickly or else have sex before marriage? Or was he trying not to build up your expectations? Or was his message something else, such as he's not very interested in women? I'm afraid the only person who really knows what he meant is your boyfriend.
In all probability, things will work out, but since he did say that, there's also a small chance that he's got a bigger problem of some sort having to do with sex. You two could go for counseling before getting married if you're really worried about it.
Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the author of "Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50" (Quill Driver Books) and "Sex for Dummies" (IDG Books). Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her at drruth.com.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate