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His wandering thoughts are deflating their sex life

Q: My husband's mind wanders, and he starts thinking about things during sex, and when he does, he goes soft. He gets upset about it. Do you have any advice on how to get him to focus on me?

A: The answer might not be to focus on you, but rather on some sexual fantasy that he finds truly arousing. That fantasy could include you, but if it doesn't — if he wants to fantasize about being with an entire team of cheerleaders — there's nothing wrong with that.

That said, he shouldn't reveal his fantasies to you. He could use a white lie and say it's about you, or else it just shouldn't be a topic of conversation.

The point is that if he's losing concentration, by focusing on a sexual fantasy he will be less likely to lose his erection, and since that's the goal, don't worry about what's going through his mind to get to that end. If you start to fight about it, then neither of you will enjoy sex as much.

Q: How do you know when you are in love?

A: That's a good question, but one that's not easily answered, because when it comes to feelings, it's very hard to write a definition that applies to everyone and all circumstances. For example, hopefully you love your parents. If you have a pet, you might love your pet, but the love for your pet isn't the same as the love for your parents. And so the love one feels when one is "in love" is different too.

Sometimes it's very strong, and sometimes it's less so, but you can't judge love only by intensity. Sometimes feelings that start out very intense fade over time to the point where you are no longer in love, while the opposite also can happen: that your feelings of love for a person grow over time.

If you have strong, positive feelings for someone that you don't have for anyone else, there's a good chance that you're in love, but only you can really decide that.

Q: I'm having a difficult time having sex with my husband because he's large and I have a small vagina. It hurts at the opening and it burns, too, but it hurts and burns only at the entrance. Once he's in and if we go slowly, everything is OK, except he loses his hardness (he has a touch of ED) because it takes some time for him to enter me. Sometimes I just can't at all because it's too painful. I've been to many gynecologists and I've talked to some friends, and they all say I need to stretch it out by using a vibrator when masturbating.

A: I'm surprised the gynecologists haven't been a bit more helpful. There are vaginal dilators that come in different sizes that can, over time, offer some stretching to the vagina. I suggest that you speak with your gynecologist about them. As for vibrators, most are designed to offer stimulation to the clitoris, which is just on the outside of the vaginal entrance, so they wouldn't help. A dildo, which resembles a penis, might help, especially if you bought some in different sizes. But, of course, the more lubricant you use, the better.

Q: I'm not sure what's wrong, but recently there have been times when sex has caused stinging inside me, and it feels as though my boyfriend's penis can't go in properly (and I am properly lubricated). But what also concerns me is that when he ejaculates inside me (when the sex has been fine and not painful), it stings a lot afterward, and we can't have sex again for a while because it hurts too much. Could I be allergic to his semen, and if so, how can I resolve this problem? Or is there something else it could be?

A: Could you be allergic to his semen? The answer is yes: Some women are allergic to the semen of their partner. Other than having him wear a condom, I'm not sure what the solution might be, though I strongly suggest that you see a gynecologist, both to see if there is an answer (I am not a medical doctor) and also to make sure that nothing else is at the root of this burning problem of yours.

Q: Can excessive vaginal moisture reduce or prevent female orgasms?

A: It shouldn't, because orgasms are triggered from stimulation of the clitoris, which is outside the sheath of the vagina. As I say again and again, most women cannot have an orgasm from intercourse alone because their clitoris isn't sufficiently stimulated, but I seriously doubt that too much lubrication would be a problem for a woman. If you really think it is, stop intercourse, use a tissue to absorb some of the lubrication and see if that improves matters. And if that works, please let me know, as I'd be curious.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the author of "Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50" (Quill Driver Books). Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her at

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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