Sex: How Couples Can Communicate Their Needs

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How Couples Can Communicate Their Needs and Become More Sexually Adventurous

By Ava Cadell
WebMD Live Events Transcript

Sexual health expert Dr. Ava Cadell gives advice on how improving communication can potentially spice up your sex life.

Event Date: 06/02/2000.

The opinions expressed by Dr. Cadell are hers and hers alone. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

Moderator: Welcome to WebMD Live's Sexual Health Auditorium. Today we are discussing "How Couples Can Communicate Their Needs and Become More Sexually Adventurous," with Ava Cadell, PhD.

Born Ildiko Csath in Budapest during the Hungarian revolution, Ava Cadell's life reads like a novel: Raised by nuns until she was found by her grandmother and brought to England, she became a Covergirl model by the age of 21. After gaining fame in Europe, Dr. Cadell relocated to Los Angeles, where she became a Playboy spokesperson and enjoyed a successful film career. Dr. Cadell earned two doctoral degrees, one in human behavior, the other in human sexuality, and has been dubbed "one of America's leading 'Sexologists'" by Cosmopolitan magazine. A highly sought-after speaker, Dr. Cadell has appeared on national and syndicated shows such as "Extra," "The Leeza Show," "Eyewitness News," "American Journal," "Hard Copy," and "The Howard Stern Show."

Dr. Cadell, welcome back to WebMD Live.

Dr. Cadell: I have my own radio show every Sunday in Los Angeles on 97.1 FM from 10 to 11 pm where people can call in and answer questions about love, relationships, and sex, and I answer those on the radio.

Moderator: How was the Howard Stern show?

Dr. Cadell: Interesting. He was fine. I was ready for him.

Moderator: What is the best way to get your lover to do what you want him or her to do in the bed?

Dr. Cadell: I recommend that couples exchange a wish list of three things that they think will heighten a sexual experience for them. I recommend this at least once a month. "I wish you would give me a sensual massage. I wish I could have my orgasms first. I wish we could have more foreplay."

Moderator: And if the partner is not interested in the wish list?

Dr. Cadell: You exchange wishes. We all have wishes that we do not articulate to our partners. Consequently, most people are dissatisfied with their sex lives. By exchanging a wish list, you can both get your needs met and improve your erotic communication. It's extremely successful. On the first of every month, my husband I exchange our wish lists and we look forward to it. Sometimes it's as simple as, "I wish we could take a bubble bath together and stay home tonight."

Moderator: How do you communicate when your lover is doing something you don't like?

Dr. Cadell: You need to compliment your love first about something you do like. For example, "I had a wonderful orgasm." Then you need to bring up what you didn't like or what you want to change such as, "The next time we make love, I would like to make love in a different position for a change." Then you need to motivate your partner by saying something like, "It would really excite me to watch you enter me from behind. I could watch you in a full length mirror and see you make love to me in that position. And it turns me on just to think about it." I guarantee your lover is going to change positions in order to make love. It's all in presentation. Everything is in how you say it.

Moderator: So communication is key?

Dr. Cadell: Always.

gr_paula_WebMD: What are the most common obstacles people have with sex and their partners? I know this is a general question but I am just curious?

Dr. Cadell: The first obstacle is inhibitions, because everybody is inhibited about something. The second obstacle is lack of communication because most people expect their partners to be able to read their minds and it's not going to happen.

gr_paula_WebMD: How can I help my partner overcome her inhibitions?

Dr. Cadell: By talking about them openly and honestly, and being sympathetic and concerned and listening to why the person is inhibited and what caused the inhibition. Then ask, "What can I do to make you feel good? What can I do to be a better lover?" Always ask what you can do. That way you take the pressure off your partner.

Moderator: And if that doesn't work? When is it time to move on to a new partner?

Dr. Cadell: It's time to move on to a new partner when you ask yourself one question: "How would I feel if I never saw this person again?" If the answer is, "Relieved," then it's time to move on. And if the answer is, "I would miss this person," then obviously you've got someone good in your life and you need to work at it.

Moderator: What scents, fragrances and odors are the biggest turn on's to women? To men?

Dr. Cadell: Quite honestly it depends upon the individual. However, scientists have been doing some research and they have come up with the following: It seems that men like sweet fragrances, which is why women always buy flowery perfumes and soaps. And men are also very partial to cinnamon and apple pie for those ladies that cook well. Women are stimulated by more musky scents, which is why men's fragrances smell completely different than women's.

Moderator: How powerful are pheromones?

Dr. Cadell: I've never heard of an addiction but pheromones are how people are attracted chemically to one another. It comes from our sweat glands and when someone says you smell so good and you're not wearing fragrance, they're talking about your pheromones. This is how animals find each other and are attracted to one another. The moth will fly for miles because of the scent from another moth. As we all know, dogs are always sniffing each other's behinds before they have any sexual contact and they're checking on the sexual attraction from the pheromones.

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The Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

Moderator: What is the most commonly neglected erogenous zone?

Dr. Cadell: I love that. I would say that all the erogenous zones are neglected except for the sexual organs and the breasts. We are covered in erogenous zones from top of our head to tip of our toe. One exercise that I give couples is to invest the time in kissing and caressing their partner from the head to the toes, moving a half an inch at a time. The receiver of pleasure must give verbal feedback and rate their erogenous zones from one to ten, ten being the most pleasurable. If one wants to, you can take away one of the senses but not necessarily. You only need to remember the erogenous zones that are seven and above, and you can keep going back to those. There are some unusual erogenous zones such as the back of the knees, licking of the eyebrows and the navel.

Moderator: What are the most erotic foods?

Dr. Cadell: I think anything that you eat with your fingers can be very erotic, especially when you feed one another. Chocolate turns me on. Also it's what you do with foods that makes them erotic. For example, if you take a cooked asparagus and one of you puts one end in your mouth and the other takes the other end and then you nibble away until you meet in middle for a passionate kiss, this makes asparagus highly erotic. There are foods which are known for [containing the mineral] zinc such as oysters, and thereby release extra testosterone in the body which is why that is an aphrodisiac.

Moderator: Is sex with different foods, i.e., fruits and vegetables, safe?

Dr. Cadell: It is not safe to insert anything into the human body because you can get infections, especially sweet foods. However, if you were to put a condom on a vegetable, I would not be against that if both of you wanted to do it.

Moderator: Is it common for people to be allergic to condoms?

Dr. Cadell: Some people are sensitive to latex which is why they have polyurethane condoms. If you're allergic to one [condom], you can use the others. There are also lubricants that don't have nonoxynol-9. You have to practice safe sex and you can't be allergic to everything. Polyurethane condoms are approved by the FDA and they're available everywhere, as are latex condoms. The female condom is made out of polyurethane. I think it's terrific but not as comfortable and as easy as a man wearing a condom.

Moderator: Physiologically, what occurs during an orgasm?

Dr. Cadell: There are four stages of orgasm. An orgasm is reached when a male or a female has reached the highest degree of sexual tension, triggering involuntary muscular contractions. According to Masters and Johnson, there may be from six to 15 contractions, each lasting for about a second or between one and three seconds. This is for men and women. In both sexes, the whole body is involved with the spasmodic contractions. At this point, blood flows into the genitals and fills the genitalia with as much blood flow as possible, causing them to swell. Some women are multi-orgasmic, whereas when men reach an orgasm, they usually ejaculate at the same time even though it's two completely separate functions.

Moderator: It is possible for a man to achieve orgasm without ejaculating?

Dr. Cadell: Absolutely. A man can separate his orgasm from ejaculation by squeezing his PC (Pubococcygeus) muscle. The PC muscle is the support muscle in the genital. The best way to identify it is to imagine that he is urinating and he has to stop the flow of urine. One can exercise this muscle without urinating. You just have to think about it and you have to strengthen the PC muscle, which is as thin as a pencil or as thick as three fingers, depending on how strong it is. After you've exercised it for at least three weeks and built up some stamina, then you can better control ejaculation by squeezing that muscle when you feel the climax approaching. With a lot of practice, a man can literally experience the same full body orgasm as a woman without ejaculation.

Moderator: And this is healthy?

Dr. Cadell: Very healthy. Some men practice this and they don't ejaculate for days, for weeks, and others don't ejaculate for months.

Moderator: Is sex during menstruation okay?

Dr. Cadell: Yes, sex during menstruation is perfectly okay. Some women complain that they are more sensitive and some men are turned off for obvious reasons. Physiologically it's absolutely okay.

Moderator: What should we do when we're both "in the mood" but there's not a lot of privacy?

Dr. Cadell: When you're both in the mood, you can stimulate erogenous zones that are not necessarily hidden. You can always kiss, whether you have children or are surrounded by friends or relatives, I think that kissing is the most important sexual activity that a couple can do on a regular basis. I believe it should be a ritual at least twice a day for twelve seconds in the morning and twelve seconds at night. You can also touch each other, caress, you can whisper erotic fantasies in each other's ears and you can build sexual anticipation for later on when you have more privacy.

Moderator: Are PDAs [Public Displays of Affection]  inappropriate?

Dr. Cadell: I think they're wonderfully appropriate. I think one way to maintain spice in your love life is to flirt with your lover in public, because flirting instills confidence and makes people feel good. I think holding hands and kissing and even having code words is a lot of fun and just communicating erotically.

Moderator: Does penis size matter as far as orgasms are involved?

Dr. Cadell: No. Penis size is absolutely irrelevant because both men and women have the same two inches of sensitivity. The top two inches of a man's penis are the most sensitive and the first two inches inside a woman's vagina. The size of a man's penis is irrelevant. The width of his penis is more important than the length because a woman wants to feel the man's penis on the walls of her vagina, and if it's very thin like a pencil, then she's not going to get the stimulation on the walls of her vagina and he may have to use some kind of sex toy or some kind of added stimulation for her.

Moderator: Where exactly is the "G-Spot" located?

Dr. Cadell: Every single woman has a G-Spot. I like to call it the Goddess Spot. It stands for Grasenberg. He was a gynecologist in the 1940's who discovered that women could derive pleasure from the urethral sponge and that is where the G-spot is located. It is a spot that lies on the vaginal wall between the cervix and the pubic bone and it feels like a small lump which swells as it is stimulated and has ridges on it much like corduroy material.

Moderator: Is there a male "G-Spot"?

Dr. Cadell: It's funny you should ask. Yes. The male G-Spot or equivalent thereof is actually inside the man's anus, but it's only about a knuckle inside. The best way to reach it is to insert your finger in a come hither motion. It is just before you get to his prostate.

Moderator: And what exactly is the function of the prostate?

Dr. Cadell: The prostate is a gland. It's a gland that a lot of men unfortunately suffer from prostate cancer and after the prostate is removed, they can no longer ejaculate. It's a very important gland.

Moderator: Can men have orgasms with their prostate removed?

Dr. Cadell: They can have orgasms but they cannot ejaculate. They have dry orgasms.

Moderator: Do you believe that watching pornography is a healthy activity for couples?

Quick GuideThe Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

The Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

Dr. Cadell: I do believe that watching pornography is therapeutic, is highly erotic, and is very healthy as long as there are two consenting adults and both want to watch it. There are certain adult movies that are enjoyed by men because they're graphic. Any movie by Michael Ninn. He does very graphic but very good adult movies. He's contemporary and the movies have incredible special effects. For women, there is a director called Andrew Blake who does beautiful sharp focus yet highly erotic adult movies which I believe women will enjoy more.

Moderator: How can you and your partner find the space and time to fulfill each other's sexual needs with children running around the house?

Dr. Cadell: Couples with children need to make time for love and sex because your children will grow up, fall in love, and they're going to leave you in a loveless, sexless marriage unless you make it a priority. What I recommend is that if you have small children you tell them, mommy and daddy are going upstairs for their own private play time. Kids will understand that because kids have play time, too. Obviously you're going to make sure they have supervision while you do this. If your kids are older, there is nothing more healthy than a child seeing that his or her parents are openly affectionate. I recommend that parents have at least one fantasy date a week where they know they're going to be intimate.

Moderator: Dr. Cadell, what are the ten steps to great sex?

Dr. Cadell: I'd like to give you the ten steps to great sex: Flirting with your partner, kissing at least twice a day passionately for 12 seconds, discovering each other's erogenous zones, using all five of your senses when making love, using erotic talk, sharing sexual fantasies, indulging in oral love, using sex toys, changing sexual positions and locations, and cuddling. They're all important. The most important ingredient in a successful relationship is obviously communication, but touching one another is essential especially as you get older and you've been together longer. That instills confidence.

Moderator: What are the most common mistakes that men make when trying to please their women?

Dr. Cadell: The most common mistake that men make is that they are always in a hurry to get to orgasm. Women like a man with a slow hand. Women need to be prepared for sex and lots of men expect women to get turned on as quickly as they do. Women need approximately 20 minutes of foreplay. One of the biggest mistakes that men make when it comes to oral love is they dive into the clitoris and they chew on it like beef jerky. In fact, the woman's clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings and it is very sensitive.

Moderator: And the best methods for oral sex?

Dr. Cadell: In my book, The Stock Market Orgasm I have 30 techniques for men to give oral sex to a woman, and 30 ways for women to give oral sex to a man. For a man it's to do the alphabet with his tongue on her vulva, which is the external part of the vagina and this way, she will have stimulation everywhere, not just on the clitoris.

Moderator: Do women ever make mistakes when trying to please men?

Dr. Cadell: Women make lots of mistakes. Absolutely. The most common mistake is that women don't use enough pressure, because they touch a man the way they want to be touched. Men want a firmer grasp from women. They want a woman to also make love to their entire body and one mistake that women make during oral love is they ignore the man's testicles and that's a big mistake. Men's testicles are part of their penis. The most erotic organ is the mind and to keep a relationship alive, be spontaneous and do things out of character to surprise your lover every now and again.

Moderator: Thank you for joining us, Dr. Cadell. We would love to have you back on the show. Please tune in every Friday here in the Sexual Health Auditorium at 9 pm EDT (6 pm PDT).

Dr. Cadell: For more love tips and sexual information on the G-Spot and anything else: and if you want to talk to me on the radio, you can listen to my show on Sunday night when I'll be interviewing Mr. Larry Flynt on 97.1 FM from 10 to 11 pm in Los Angeles. Thank you.

The opinions expressed by Dr. Cadell are hers and hers alone. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

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Reviewed on 10/23/2003 1:20:51 AM

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