Sex : Intimate Questions and Concerns (cont.)

Member: I'm 22 years old. I am not married and cannot have sex with a girl outside of marriage because it's against my religion. I'm masturbating at least two times per week. And every time I see beautiful women I must masturbate. I'm afraid that masturbating so much will affect my ability to have sex when I get married. Will it? Also I want to stop masturbating and I do not know how.

Weston: The body does not know what causes its orgasm. The hand of a wife, or the hand of the body's owner, meaning you. So there is no harm that self-stimulation can cause that is any different from what a wife could cause. Some people do make the mistake of masturbating in a manner that is completely different from the stimulation that they might get from a partner. This can lead to the possibility of it being difficult to reach orgasm with a partner or, for heterosexuals, through penis-in-vagina intercourse. So, as long as you masturbate in a way that somewhat simulates intercourse, you are not likely to cause any problems for yourself in the future. I would recommend continuing your masturbation for a couple of reasons. There is some data that suggests that regular ejaculations, no matter how they are caused, are good for the health of the prostate. And while this may not apply to you at all, recent data has shown that as the availability of sexual pictures on the internet has increased, the incidents of sexual assault has decreased. So if you can, relax about your masturbation and keep looking for that woman you would like to marry.

Member: Is it true that premature ejaculation comes from masturbation at early ages?

Weston: There is no data to support the idea that early masturbation is linked to or causes rapid ejaculation.

Member: I have recently started bleeding after and during intercourse. I have been sexually active for 10 years now, and I am not performing rough sex. This has never happened to me before. I have also been diagnosed with HPV and have been treated with cryosurgery. But the last time I was treated was in 1998. I don't know what is wrong, or if perhaps I have contracted an STD. What are some possible things that could be the reason for the bleeding?

Weston: It is impossible to diagnose you over the Internet and I would strongly recommend your seeing your gynecologist as soon as you can. Consider having intercourse just prior to the appointment so the doctor can see the source of the trauma and/or bleeding. Don't wait for it to get worse.

Member: I have trouble having an orgasm with my husband. It's hard for me to relax and receive pleasure from him without feeling like I should be pleasuring him. I'm wondering how I can feel more at ease? I'm pretty shy and have a hard time giving directions

Weston: The situation you have described is a little bit complicated to answer in the time that we have remaining. I would recommend two things. First consider taking a look at a book called For Each Other, by Lonnie Barbach. After you read the book, consider seeing a sex therapist for a few sessions with your husband. You would probably benefit from the back and forth interaction that you could have with a therapist. That person could help you work your way through the subtleties of why you feel uncomfortable receiving pleasure. Third, take a look at the FAQs in the Sex Matters message board. There are three batches of articles about women having orgasms that might be of help to you.

Moderator: We are out of time. Our thanks to Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, and thank you, members, for joining us today. You can visit Louanne on the WebMD Sex Matters message board. For more information, please check out our news stories, features, and archived interviews with experts -- visit our Healthy Sexuality Center.

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