Let's Talk Love & Sex -- Ruth Westheimer, PhD. -- 02/11/03

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Ruth Westheimer made talking about sex a national pastime. We welcomed Dr. Ruth to WebMD Live to help our members make their love lives more memorable! Read about our love-in with everyone's favorite advice dispenser.

The opinions expressed herein are the guest's alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Dr. Ruth: Hello members of WebMD. I hope you have good questions for me.

Member: Dr. Ruth, My partner and I have different sexual stimulants; he's visually turned on and I'm turned on by audio, what I hear. How do you get these two sexual languages to hear each other?

Dr. Ruth: You take turns! One week one and one week the other one (laughing). And if that doesn't work, take turns every time you have sex. Also maybe learn to enjoy each other's sexual arousal, but it's not necessary. Make sure that you love each other. Maybe on Valentine's Day do one for him and one for you. No matter what, do one each.

Member: How do you get a man to not get lazy about sex? My boyfriend gave so much in the beginning, way more than me, then when I started giving more, he just relaxed all the time and let me give all the time. It didn't feel like we were both giving 100%. I was giving and he was enjoying.

Dr. Ruth: No good. No good, you both have to be able to talk about it. But not saying, "Hey you aren't giving enough." Ask him playfully. Even pick some books like the book Sex for Dummies that I just wrote or the brand new one The Lover's Companion: Art and Poetry of Desire because it teaches there has to be a give and take. OK?

Member: I have an issue with arousal from my partner: I can't seem to be sexually aroused by him; the only way I get turned on is when I use my vibrator. When I see his penis it's like a desert. I need to fix this. HELP!!

Dr. Ruth: First, don't ever tell him what you just told me. Keep your mouth shut. It doesn't matter what arouses you. If it is a vibrator, use it. But make sure that you keep your mouth shut; that you don't share that with him.

Member: I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and nervous about having sex with my husband. I am worried it will feel strange, somehow hurt the baby, or cause a miscarriage. When we try to get intimate, I tense up and can't enjoy myself. How can I overcome this?

Dr. Ruth: Many women have that fear. Also some men worry and until you feel more comfortable, maybe further advanced in pregnancy, the best thing would be not to have intercourse, but to satisfy each other either manually or orally if that's part of your sexual experience. Make sure that at your next visit to your obstetrician you don't feel embarrassed about it, but ask about it. There are certainly many women and men who worry about this. The good thing about you is that you can already ask the question about it. Don't make it into a bigger issue than it is, and good luck with that baby.

Moderator: You and Dr. Amos Grunebaum wrote a book together about sex during pregnancy didn't you?

Dr. Ruth: I did a book with him called Dr. Ruth's Guide for Pregnant Couples. There is even a paperback showing a position named after him and me in the second trimester on page 125. It's the Dr. Ruth and Dr. Amos position.

Member: It has been a year that my boyfriend and I have been having sex but still no orgasm. We are very in love and I think he comes too early but after 20-45 minutes of foreplay for me he is ready to ejaculate. Any suggestions?

Dr. Ruth: Yes. In my book Sex for Dummies if it is premature ejaculation there are good exercises he can do with you in order to be able to ejaculate only when he wants to. By your worrying about it, it's not helpful. The best thing is for him to bring you to orgasm with his finger or vibrator before he engages in intercourse. But if it is premature ejaculation it is easy to be helped.

Member: After the birth of my child five years ago I was concerned that I was not getting the urge to have sex. My doctor reassured me that my libido would come back. I have never felt it come back; I never feel like having sex. Is there something wrong with me?

Dr. Ruth: The best thing is to go and see a counselor. If it's five years that you don't feel like engaging in sex, there must be other things happening in your life. Maybe you are angry. Maybe there are other worries you have. So I would strongly suggest not to wait another day, but to find a sexual counselor or a sex therapist that you can talk to.

Member: Is there something wrong with my husband and me? He always asks me to have threesomes -- two men and me.

Dr. Ruth: Don't ever engage in any sexual activity that you don't feel like engaging in. If that's his fantasy, but you don't want to have any part of it, tell him to keep his mouth shut, and shut tight. Nobody should EVER be pressured into any sexual activity that they don't feel is pleasurable for them.

Member: I just had sex for the first time a week and a half ago. I have had oral sex for about five years. I have yet to have an orgasm through intercourse with my partner. Is it something I just need to get used to?

Dr. Ruth: Some women never will have an orgasm during intercourse and it does not matter. All that is important is to have an orgasm. If that is before intercourse, after intercourse -- it doesn't matter. It could also be that by relaxing you might be able to have an orgasm during intercourse. But the important part here is to be relaxed about it and to make sure that you do have an orgasm when you want one.

Member: Dr Ruth, in order to have sex with my wife, I need to schedule an appointment well in advance. What tips do you suggest for getting her to engage in more spontaneous lovemaking? When we were younger, she was ready to go anytime and anywhere.

Dr. Ruth: Here Valentine's Day is coming. Go out and buy her a nice gift -- something for HER and then say Dr. Ruth says that it's very important for her to sometimes initiate a sexual activity so that you know that she really wants it and does not just engage in it to comply with your wishes. Good luck to you.

Member: How do I know if I've had an orgasm?

Dr. Ruth: It's a good question. Sometimes there is something in sex therapy that is called a missed orgasm. An important issue is that if you feel satisfied, if you feel that you don't want any further stimulation, you might have had an orgasm without it registering as a pleasurable experience. If you try a little more and it does not work, I would suggest you go to see a sex therapist for a consultation.

Member: Do all women have the capacity to ejaculate (female ejaculation)?

Dr. Ruth: I don't know of any study that would prove that there is a female ejaculation. Some women produce a lot of lubrication that might feel like an ejaculation but I have not yet seen such a study. You have to be careful not to expect a female ejaculation and feel that pressure towards ejaculating especially if we don't know there is such a thing. The important part of sex is to be satisfied and the danger is to hear what the mass media tells us what sex should feel like.

Member: I have a really stupid problem. I met a really wonderful guy two months ago. Back then I lied to him and said that I've had several sexual experiences, but the truth is I'm 25 and a virgin. We're getting serious now, and we'll probably "do it." There's no way I could tell him the truth (it's a long story why I can't). Is there a way in which he wouldn't notice that I'm "untouched"? Is there possible way that he wouldn't find out?

Dr. Ruth: Keep your mouth shut. Don't tell him. Read some books first. Read Sex for Dummies or other books, and give him a very good time and make sure that you have an orgasm. If it doesn't happen during that first sexual encounter, give yourself an orgasm by using your finger or vibrator either before sex or after. Make sure you do love each other, that you are protected if you don't want to be parents, and enjoy it.

Member: Dr. Ruth, I am newly married and my husband is very squeamish about oral sex. He enjoys receiving it but says that he can't give it. Unfortunately, I feel very sexually unsatisfied and want to know if you have advice about what else we can do to make sex more pleasurable for me? Also, do you have advice on finding the female G-spot? We are having trouble with me having anything other than a clitoral orgasm and I have heard (read) that G-spot orgasms are much better.

Dr. Ruth: First there is no such thing as a G-spot that I know of. There is no scientific data about it. Forget about it until we know more. In all the years I have asked physicians about the existence of a G-spot, I have seen no study that proves it. Some women are more sensitive in the vagina than others. On the issue of oral sex; don't make a big to do over it. On Valentine's Day, give him a little red wine (not too much), and tell him Dr. Ruth said many men feel it's dark down there but that you are willing to take a flashlight to shine on your clitoris.

Also know many women for a whole lifetime have clitoral orgasms. An orgasm is an orgasm. There is no such thing as a clitoral versus a vaginal orgasm. Even those women who do have vaginal orgasms -- the clitoris is part of it. Enjoy your new husband. Make sure that sex is fun. There are some women who go through life with a loving husband, wonderful family, and do without oral sex. Since he likes you go down on him, try to once in a while tell him that you just took a shower and that he should try it. Tell him if he doesn't like it you will wait until next year to ask him again. That should help. Good luck.

Member: Is it wrong that my boyfriend looks at adult sex sites or will it help him having sex with me?

Dr. Ruth: Just let him enjoy looking. You don't have to look with him. Don't think this means he is not interested in you. You don't have to look at it if it doesn't do anything for you. But let him look as long as he is having sex only with you.

Member: What do you do when your partner is unwilling to do something that you enjoyed doing once before and fantasize about and sex becomes unfulfilling to you because you are missing out on those things and fixate on doing them? Is there a way to communicate this and try to get them to try something different? (I'm talking simple things people talk about like oral sex, massages, showering together, etc., etc.)

Dr. Ruth: You have to try to communicate. There might be other reasons why that pleasurable activity was stopped. So make sure that if you can't talk about it, write it out, put it under his or her pillow, with a piece of chocolate or red rose on the pillow just to make sure there are no other pressures that would interfere with a good sex life. In your case, you really do have to talk about it.

Member: I've recently discovered that I have an active case of herpes. Is my sex life over?

Dr. Ruth: In addition for you to have to ask a physician I am doing a book right now about the difficulty to communicate with your partner if you have herpes. But there is no question in my mind that communication is essential. You can't let it just happen. It's difficult to talk about it; that's why I suggest both of you go to see a health professional and to say, "We have something to discuss with you." If the relationship is strong, then with good education about herpes, it should not interfere except with an outbreak. But to communicate is a must. And I wish you well.

Member: What do you do when your husband becomes impotent?

Dr. Ruth: First, the word impotent is a very complicated one because what I don't know is can he not obtain or maintain an erection? Does he lose it before penetration? There are many questions I need the answer to in order to give advice. One piece of advice right now: Make a call to an expert in sexual health, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, urologist -- see if there is any physical cause. Do not let it slide. Do something about it!

Member: How do we mesh the desires of men to have exciting sexual experiences with new women or women they don't know and most women's desire to have sex in the context of a relationship? Is this truly the experience of men, or do they prefer to have sex in the context of a relationship, too?

Dr. Ruth: From my experience, most people -- men and women -- would like to have a good sexual experience within a relationship. That holds true for men and for women.

Member: Why do I feel more vulnerable when I receive oral sex but not when I give it?

Dr. Ruth: I think that is just a question of the position of the body. When you receive it you are more vulnerable. When you give it you have more control. Keep on enjoying giving and taking and leave the questions about vulnerability aside, because they don't help you in that sexual arousal and in that sexual satisfaction.

Member: I have to masturbate after intercourse to achieve orgasm, not the last few strokes mind you, but like the last three minutes. I have always had this problem, and it is hurting my current relationship. Should this be normal?

Dr. Ruth: For you I would say to see a urologist because what I would like to know as a sex therapist is if you ejaculate, and if so not completely? Or do you not ejaculate?

Make sure before it hurts your current relationship even more that you see a urologist.

Member: I ejaculate all the way, as any normal man would, for some reason the sensation just isn't there for me to orgasm. In the past my only sexual outlet was masturbation to erotica (movies, books, magazines, web sites) and my girlfriend feels it is her fault, when I know it's not because it has happened in past relationships.

Dr. Ruth: First tell that to your girlfriend then see a urologist with her. Find out if there is a physical problem. Make sure though that you assure your girlfriend that it's not her.

Member: Are there such things as aphrodisiacs?

Dr. Ruth: Anything that would help you. If it is chocolate or even tomatoes that you THINK is an aphrodisiac -- a movie, a book, whatever. Use it. There is no such thing as an aphrodisiac that works for everybody. Anything that's on your mind, use it.

Member: What do you do when you get dry during intercourse?

Dr. Ruth: Then you have to use a lubricant. Make sure before intercourse that you use a lubricant. If it's painful you did not use enough. If your vagina gets dry during intercourse, use lubricant or saliva.

Moderator: Just don't use petroleum jelly (Vaseline). It can cause condoms to break!

Dr. Ruth: I second that motion!

Member: Is KY jelly OK?

Dr. Ruth: Yes.

Member: I had intercourse for the first time last night and it hurt. When does it stop hurting?

Dr. Ruth: As soon as you relax and use enough lubricant. And forget about the first time it hurts, so you don't expect it to hurt. Put your behind on a pillow and make sure you are aroused enough. Think sexy thoughts and have a good time.

Member: Hi Dr Ruth. How common is it for a woman to be multi-orgasmic?

Dr. Ruth: There is no such thing as multi-orgasmic. There are some women who are satisfied with one orgasm and others who need some further stimulation in order to be satisfied. But people should not strive and be pressured or even pressure themselves to have multiple orgasms just because of mass media talking about it.

Moderator: Dr. Ruth, we are almost out of time. Before we wrap up for today, do you have any final comments for us?

Dr. Ruth: Have a wonderful Valentine's Day. Those of you who don't have a partner, don't be sad, make a decision that by next year you have a partner. Read my new book The Lover's Companion: Art and Poetry of Desire. It has gorgeous illustrations. See the front cover illustration, especially.

Moderator: Our thanks to Ruth Westheimer, PhD, "Dr. Ruth", and thank you members for joining us today. For more information, please read Sex for Dummies by Ruth Westheimer and her newest book, Lovers Companion. Also check out the information at the Healthy Sexuality Center and the Emotional Wellness Center on WebMD, and talk with others on our Couples Support message board.

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