February 2005 (v7 i4)
Counting the Ways Since 1997
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Dr. Nancy Daley is a licensed psychologist who has taught human sexuality in the
Department of Educational Psychology since 1996. She hadn't heard of sex prior to that.
I've decided to put down my knitting long enough to answer some questions from the ever-popular Ask-It Envelope. For the three million of you who have never been able to register for a Human Sexuality class, the Ask-It Envelope is something I pass around each semester so students can write down questions they don't dare ask out loud.

I can't begin to think what this will be like in a few years when your siblings from the Abstinence Only world hit the 40 Acres. Sex Ed, as you know, is all but banned from public schools now, so the kids are learning what they learn from TV, the movies and each other. Consider the following memorable question from a high-schooler, given to me by a friend who used to work at Planned Parenthood: "If you find a used condom and wash it, is it okay to use it again?" We may be raising a fabulous generation in terms of recycling, but it's scary to contemplate what their sex practices will entail.

The Ask-It questions from our class cover a range of topics from how to meet someone to how to keep sex exciting in a longer relationship. I figure if I answer some here, you'll have something to read during your long life on the wait list.

I am a nice guy who dresses neatly, opens doors for women, and keeps my promises. But I can't get a date! Why do girls always go for the Bad Boys?

There are many reasons why women go for the Bad Boys. Some of them are longing for a guy just like Dear Old Dad. This isn't just Freudian stuff; at least one modern-day model of relationships proposes that we will invariably hook up with a clone of one of our parental units. For some people this is good news: they've been fortunate enough to have parents who are emotionally healthy adults in a long, affectionate marriage. For the people who haven't been so lucky in the parental lottery (offspring of alcoholics, addicts, rage freaks, the promiscuous, irresponsible, absent, etc.), it takes a certain amount of attention, even therapy, in order to achieve a relationship with a Nice Healthy Specimen such as yourself. When you've spent most of your life on an emotional roller coaster, it seems normal. So you may fare better after college, when your dating pool expands to include women who have had their fill of auditioning Bad Boys.

Also, some girls love a project, and Bad Boys offer lots of raw material. Need I say that some guys savor their Bad Girl projects, too? It can be very gratifying to turn a wild child into a sweet, dependable, trustworthy partner: you know you've really achieved something. Nevermind that the odds of success are about the same as my alma mater's football team would have against you Big Huge Longhorns. Project-lovers also have the delicious experience of looking like relationship saints compared to their nasty sweethearts.

But what about you? Let's ask the hard stuff: Are you boring? Can you hold up your end of a conversation? How's your sense of humor? Are you the only one who thinks you're funny?  Do you kiss like a starfish? Do you walk in clouds of drug-store aftershave? Are you sexy???

You must understand that Bad Boys give off an air of sexuality and confidence that cannot adequately be described in words — and I was an English major. They manage to appear simultaneously aloof and available. Their attention is focused squarely on women, their delicious target. Bad Boys' eye-contact is persistent and smoldering without being intrusive. One touch of their hand on the small of our backs turns the contents of our abdominal cavities to melted honey. Bad Boys know everything about female anatomy and how it works, and they let us know without actually saying a word about sex.

I suggest you consult with several of your trusted female friends. Ask them how you come across as a dating prospect and what you'd need to do to catch their eyes. Be sure to ask several women, since some of your female friends may be ambivalent about your success in the relationship department. Even if you never become a Bad Boy, you can learn how to be more attractive to women. And with diligent study of anatomy and physiology, you'll not only boost your perceived date value, you'll also fill your non-dating hours with lots of interesting pictures.

What's up with guys and anal sex?

If I had a nickel for every anal sex question that shows up in the Ask-It Envelope, I could retire — or at least go skiing again this year. I figure a heterosexual woman has a 100 percent chance of being campaigned for anal sex during her love-lifetime. One helpful member of our class replied to this query by explaining that the anal sphincter is more constricted and therefore a potential source of far more friction than the normal vagina can ever hope to provide. (Those weren't his exact words, but the Editor has made me finesse the actual language used. Oh, dear.)

Assuming there's more to it than that, I think lots of guys like to do something naughty and forbidden, soaring to Star Trek heights by going where no man has gone before (yeah, right). Let's not forget that many people, male and female, enjoy sexual stimulation of this anatomical region (although many American men are too homophobic to admit it). That whole ZIP code is hard-wired for sexual arousal. In males, stimulation of the prostate with a well-lubricated, short-nailed digit (how else do you expect to reach the prostate?) is intensely arousing. Many women similarly enjoy anal stimulation, especially when it has been introduced into the sexual repertoire in a gradual, respectful way — like a gentle stroking during a highly aroused moment. There are plenty of people who can achieve orgasm through anal stimulation. This may be related, in women at least, to the G-spot; but even women who are pretty sure they lack a G-spot are capable of enjoying anal sex.

Try to remember that this is far from everyone's cup of tea. It is an area of über-consent, absolutely requiring the enthusiastic support of both participants. Not to mention lots of lube. And a condom. The intestinal flora and fauna that do such a good job with the south end of the digestive system wreak havoc when they get into your vagina or your mouth (try not to faint). And when you run that old trick of slipping it in there and calling it an accident, we will send you back to anatomy class with the guys no one will date (see Question 1).

Why do women fake orgasms?


Oops, sorry, I'm out of room. Maybe next time.
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