Miss Information

I'm terrified my boyfriend is going to die in an accident. How can I relax?

By Cait Robinson

Have a question? Email missinfo@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content, and clarity.

Dear Miss Information,

I need some help! My fiancée and I have a great sex life. We're mid-twenties, energetic, and willing to try new things within reason. Our big issue is that she cannot seem to orgasm. I've suggested seeing a doctor to see if they had any idea what could be going on, but she doesn't feel comfortable with that. Which is fine. I would never force her to do something she does not want to do.

What I can tell you is that she loves oral and intercourse. We have a vibrator she enjoys too, but we're due for an upgrade I think. The catch is, she cannot insert toys. She is not comfortable with that. So I guess ultimately my question is, do you have any suggestions for a toy that we can use that might help her climax? We're getting married within the next year, so money is an issue. I was hoping to keep it around fifty dollars maybe more if you think it's that amazing.

Hopeful Fiance

Dear Hopeful Fiancé,

Several elements of your letter had me with one foot in my Superhero Phonebooth ("I am CaiTron, who can destroy cities with lightningbolts! And can cook dinner for herself, like a frigging adult!"). Your fiancée can't have an orgasm? Medicalization of female sex drive? Zowie! Ka-pow! Hang on while I hike up all this Spandex!

But wait: she seems generally unconcerned, you respect her wishes, and you two seem to be working together to ensure that she's enjoying herself. Foot removed from phone booth, untangling self from costume. You're on the right track. All is safe in Gotham.

I don't have specific recommendations for toys, since everyone is built differently. You seem to have a good grasp on what she likes, and that's great. If there are any sex-toy stores in your area, it might be a good date night/surprise to take her to pick out something new. The tangible element makes a difference when shopping, plus it's always nice to keep money local, if you can. I would recommend scouting out the store before you take her, though — many of these places are seedy and/or excessively jokey, and both can be total turn-offs. (If there are paintings of sperm clustered around the entrance of the store, for example, you can probably cut the date short right there.) (I have been there, and it was awful.)

If your city isn't run by sex-positive hippies, don't despair: parts of the internet certainly are. Start at Babeland — this company was founded by women, which means they are especially lady-focused. Their stores and website are clean, well presented, extremely informative, and accessible. There are some great user reviews, too, so you and your girlfriend can get a sense of what a toy is like before she tries it. You can also get reviews on just about every toy ever made from the experts over at Fleshbot — it'll take some wading, but at least you can narrow down a list of things to look into. Maybe do some preliminary research, print out a few, open some wine, and enlist her help in poring over them — who wouldn't get into that?

From your description of her likes/dislikes, even a basic bullet vibrator to stimulate her clitoris during intercourse might be a cheap and easy starting point. And, reading between the lines — i.e. how many times you said "she is uncomfortable" — I think anything by Lelo could be good. They make high-functioning products with svelte designs that don't seem like sex toys at all. They're pricey but high-quality and stylish — potentially good for someone who may shy away from sex toys that, well, resemble toys.

Dear Miss Information,

I am an eighteen-year-old girl with a boyfriend of fourteen months. Everything is lovely, yada yada, all that jazz. We love each other very much and we have fun. The only problem is that I can't stop worrying about his safety. If he's at my house for an evening and he leaves when it's dark, I worry he'll be hurt on his way home. And not because he's doing something stupid — I worry he'll be hit by a car or something. I have even gone to bed on a few of these nights and had a dream that he died in the exact scenario that I worry about. It's like my subconscious is trying to freak me out.

I can deal with this when he's in the city (we live in Toronto). But, next week, he's going on a two-week trip to Vienna with the orchestra he plays in. Vienna is a) far the fuck away and b) a place you get to on a plane. I have never really had a fear of planes before, either for me or anyone else (I generally don't worry irrationally about my own safety), but I'm just imagining his plane going down in flames. And the same things that I worry about here (being hit by cars, etc.) are multiplied because he'll be so far away. I know this is crazy and irrational and I really shouldn't worry, but I can't help it. How do I keep from flipping out for the two weeks he's gone? I don't really want to constantly have this fear at the back of my mind.

Polly Paranoia

Dear Polly Paranoia,

Have you worried about these things for the full fourteen months you've been together? Or is it a recent thing? Do you worry like this about anybody else in your life, or just him?

It is reasonable — especially with a relationship as established as yours — to ask him to check in from time to time. "Let me know when your plane lands!" or "Send me updates from Vienna!" are completely acceptable things to say. Same for "Hey — you're climbing out my window at in the middle of the night. Text me when you get home, okay?" It gets less acceptable when it is a 5 a. m. message, incoherently blubbering phrases like "mushroom cloud" and "Chevy Camaro" interspersed with teary snippets of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." But you know that. So let's make sure to put the brakes on before we get there.

While you can, and should, expect reasonable check-ins, internet while traveling is dodgy, he's out exploring, and you can't rely on him to prop up your sanity. The best way to stop unhinged thoughts is to realize that you control them. Because you do.

Here's the thing: when a bad thought starts bubbling up, you can either feed it or starve it. You feed it by paying attention to it; when you tune in, it grabs that focus and runs to the most perverse place it can, taking your sanity with it. You starve it by pulling back, looking at it, and refusing to engage. It takes practice, and it's not easy. But being eternally convinced your boyfriend is meeting his untimely death isn't easy, either.

Either way, it’s best to get a grip on your panic now, before it causes you any more nightmares. When one of these doomsday scenarios does surface, greet it as the “thought” that it is, not as “truth” or “likelihood.” Then kindly file it away and keep moving. Over time you’ll be able to catch these earlier and earlier, and they’ll have less impact on your mental climate. While you’re at it, put some thought into what’s going on beneath this paranoia. Maybe you’re afraid of losing him because you’re petrified of being alone; maybe the loss conjures up hurt from something earlier, like a parental divorce; or — even — maybe you wish you had more space. It’s entirely possible you’ve got too many eggs in this particular basket, and your subconscious is just trying to make you pay attention.

Commentarium (69 Comments)

Mar 18 11 - 1:23am

The second letter has a definite anxiety disorder. She should see a psych STAT. Getting control of my anxiety disorder (And I was EXACTLY) the same way allowed me to keep living my life.

Also can't recommend Lelo enough. If coin is an issue though, luxe Swedish toys are out of the question. I dropped three hundred for my creamsicle coloured best friend, Ina, though, and she's a total babe.

Mar 18 11 - 2:58pm

I definitely think the second writer may be suffering from anxiety and needs to see a counselor immediately and if need be a psychatrist I struggle with anxiety and the only way i've been able to control it and it's obessive thoughts is to see a counselor and I also take an anti anxiety medication, I'm suprised this was not offered as advice from Miss Information. I wish "polly" luck. i also wouldn't recommend medication alone it needs to be done with counseling as well.

Mar 18 11 - 2:58pm

I definitely think the second writer may be suffering from anxiety and needs to see a counselor immediately and if need be a psychatrist I struggle with anxiety and the only way i've been able to control it and it's obessive thoughts is to see a counselor and I also take an anti anxiety medication, I'm suprised this was not offered as advice from Miss Information. I wish "polly" luck. i also wouldn't recommend medication alone it needs to be done with counseling as well.

Mar 19 11 - 10:34pm

I completely agree with you, and I normally don't comment on things like this, but this one I had to. Although the advice about not letting worries spiral out of control is good, it can take a lot of practice to learn how to do this, and very few people are equipped with the knowledge and discipline to do this on their own. I only know this all too well! I also would recommend she see a good therapist and learns skills to cope with her anxiety. She's lucky cause she's very young, but as you get older the pressures of life mount, and it only becomes more difficult to control this without the proper therapy and/or medications. There are soooo many people out there who live with anxiety and panic, and it is something you can learn how to live with.

Also, for the first person, I'm really surprised that no one mentioned just good ol' masturbation. Seriously. Before going out and spending all that money on sex toys, why not just encourage her to diddle herself a bit and see what she likes. Alone if she's not comfortable with him around. He says she doesn't like toys inside of her, but the thing is that rarely do women actually orgasm from internal stimulation alone. Maybe his gf doesn't know this and neither does he?

Mar 21 11 - 11:38am

re: Second letter
FWIW, I used to have this problem, and I think Miss Info's advice is spot on. For me, the problem wasn't making my life unlivable, just occasionally uncomfortable. And it pretty much went away on its own, when (a) I got used to the idea that it was really unlikely he was going to get hurt, (b) got too busy to get distracted by morbid thoughts, and (c) brief phase of reminding myself that he's an adult and can deal with the world on his own, and it's all going to be ok.
@OP - See a therapist, if you want, but following Miss Info's advice will probably do the trick.

Mar 18 11 - 1:28am

Why do so many people flip their lid over seeing a doctor regarding a woman's sex drive? No one has problems throwing hard science and medicine at the male sex drive, why should it be any different for women?

I know it's a charged concept, but at face value, it's hardly as insidious as people make it out to be. A trip to the doctor doesn't need to result in internment in a sanitarium. Maybe there's a vitamin deficiency. Maybe certain medications she's already taking are leaving her with unexpected side effects. A doctor seems like an absolutely sensible person to look to for answers in these regards.

Mar 18 11 - 1:49am

Well, I don't know about everybody else, but my problem with the medicalization of female sexuality is that: a) it's been done before with not such pretty results; b) it starts from this really creepy male supremacist assumption that women should be available for penetration at all times, otherwise something must be wrong with them. Newsflash: we, women, don't actually get off that way and we're very aware that penetration by a penis is a dangerous thing (2 possible results: pregnancy and STDs).

Maybe what we need to look into is the medical lowering of the male sex drive. That would be really awesome and I can already see the results: fewer unwanted children, fewer rapes, less porn.

Mar 18 11 - 3:33am

maybe it's been done before, but that doesn't mean that every time a guy says "maybe you should see a doctor" it means he's a male supremacist. doctors aren't just a last resort. they can rule things out, like weird side effects from medications, or whatever. I don't see anything in the letter saying that she should be available for penetration at all times, just that she doesn't like penetration by toys, which doesn't seem to be a problem for either of them, and that she can't orgasm. I think it's reasonable to suggest to your FIANCEE of all people that it'd be cool if she just got checked out to make sure everything was cool. way overreacting here.

Mar 18 11 - 3:48am

Right. Wait. Isn't that wonderful how the guy says that she has a problem because she can't orgasm, instead of saying that he has a problem, because he can't make her orgasm? Also, does he like being penetrated by toys? How come we're not told about that arbitrary preference?

Before medicalizing her, maybe letting her off the hook so she can find a new, better in bed boyfriend is a better idea. Not that you asked me, fiancee of the LW, but I have good advice: don't marry him! Get out while you still can.

Mar 18 11 - 5:13am

Honestly, AT, your posts make me very sad. I say this without true malice, as people are wont to do on the internet, and I truly hope you find a place of healing someday.

To say " we, women, don't actually get off that way and we're very aware that penetration by a penis is a dangerous thing" speaks for all women. Are you all women? No one is. Some women do. Yes, it is not a unicorn, it exists. Perhaps it is clitoral or G, but some women greatly enjoy penetration. It's as if stating "Everyone hates anal sex" simply because your preference is such does not make it so. It makes you presumptious, it takes away the voice of the individual and demeans everyone involved in the conversation. Newsflash: Some of us enjoy penetration, some of us don't, the important thing here is normalizing sex, period. Familiarizing ourselves with our bodies, with our selves, our wants, needs and desires as fully formed adults rather than standing on some soap box going on about the dangers of a penis. If partners are careful, rational, GGG, pregnancy and STIs can be avoided. Scaring people into thinking otherwise is so in the wrong direction.

I also want to state that he said "our problem"; he's implicating himself in this sentence as well. It takes two, obviously, and it seems like there is a lot of effort to provide her with pleasure. Orgasms are great. Sure, not the be all end all, or else why would she keep fucking but still, awesome to feel that rush and I'm sure all he wants is her pleasure.

My advice to you is to seek help and hope someday you find some measure of sexual positivity.

Mar 18 11 - 5:33am

Rape is not about sex,
it's about violence.
Look into it.

Mar 18 11 - 5:42am

Yes, this. Associating a healthy sex drive with a violent crime is just.. yeah. It speaks of trauma.

Mar 18 11 - 6:01am

@ AT ~ It's very sad that you can read about a guy genuinely looking to help his girlfriend have an orgasm, and immediately be thinking about "really creepy male supremacist assumptions" regarding penetration etc. Presumably if he -wasn't- interested in helping her have an orgasm, that too would be clear evidence of his male supremacist attitude? Pick a side.

The OP's exact words were "I've suggested seeing a doctor to see if they had any idea what could be going on". And you have a serious problem with this? This is creepy? Considering how many medications can mess with both male and female libido's, this seems like sensible advice, so long as he doesn't pressure her, which he made clear he didn't.

Maybe you have good reasons to be down on men, many of us do. But over-reacting and attacking every man you meet at the slightest pretext will strain every relationship you have, and is a recipe for unhappiness. Don't delude yourself that aggressive, negative, angry women are any different to aggressive, negative, angry men. They both do great damage to themselves and others over time. There are better ways to deal.

If you really can't have a discussion about this stuff without immediately bringing up male supremacist attitudes and rape then you should consider seeing a therapist, because for most people seeing a doctor to rule out a simple medical issue that might be preventing orgasm is not an attack on women.

I'm not saying your feelings are wrong or invalid, I'm saying throwing those feelings at others at the slightest pretext is. Presumably you have good reasons for such a strong reaction to this, and I genuinely hope you can find someone who can help you get to a healthier place with all of this stuff. Because what you are writing here is toxic and of no help to anyone.

Mar 18 11 - 10:55am

Whoa! If I go to the doctor because I have an earache, are we medicalizing female ears? Yes, yes we are and that's okay. Or, since we're talking about not being able to do something you want to do, maybe it's more like going to a doctor because I can't taste my food. Medicalizing female taste buds? Yep and yep. When you have something going wonky with your body, it makes sense to see a doctor. Ya'd think making sure you were seeing a sex-positive female provider would be enough. Presumably she has a gyno, and she has some sense of how sex-positive that gyno is. That's a good place to start.

The only thing that raised an eyebrow a bit for me was that not being able to insert toys = problem reaching orgasm. Are we dealing with the ol' "orgasm must happen from penetration or it's not proper orgasm" canard that sex columnists have not yet fully beaten with a vibrating stick? Why does she need to insert the toy? Can't she just use it on her clit? Also, it wasn't totally clear is she can't have an orgasm *at all* or just with this bloke. That's a big difference. What happens when she's all along with her vibrator and her favorite porn (or racy Victorian novel, or whatever does it for her)?

Finally, it pains me that someone who shares my initials seems to hate my favorite hobby so much. AT--it's okay that you don't like sex as much as dudes, or as many other chicks. You're not alone. Rock on with your bad self. But you take my boys' sex drives away and I will hunt you down and . . . er . . . look sternly at you. Kay?

Mar 18 11 - 11:08am

just to clear up a little misunderstanding (the big ones have been tackled well):

The information that she doesn't like inserting toys is provided to give Miss Info an idea of what kind of toy they're looking for, not to suggest that this is why she can't orgasm or this makes her defective. It's information on what suggestions they want!

Mar 18 11 - 12:35pm

I don't know, @AD, I read it the same way as @ana. I'm little surprised Miss Info didn't start with the basics: can she orgasm when alone? Can she orgasm when he performs oral? Hand jobs? Maybe Miss Info edited down the letter, which definitely/reasonably happens, but "the catch is, she can't insert toys" didn't sound at all to me like they are looking for insertables; more like "there has to be SOME way to get her to orgasm from penetration."

And @AT, the idea that he has to GIVE HER an orgasm would be a male supremacist POV.

Mar 18 11 - 3:41pm

I'm likewise disappointed that Info didn't open with some fact-finding questions. This is kind of her m.o., though. Any time someone inquires as to seeking a doctor's advice w/r/t a woman's sex drive (in this case, not even sex drive, but ability to finish), she jumps down the letter writer's throat. Weak.

Mar 18 11 - 4:21pm

I actually wrote this letter to Miss Info. Figured I could clear some things up. She cannot orgasm period. With me, without me, with penetration, without it. Nothing works. That's why I brought up the whole possibility of seeing a doctor. We've never experienced this and honestly, after trying for almost 3 years with various techniques, it can be frustrating for both of us.

The whole penetration thing was in regards to finding a toy that she could be comfortable with. In no way was I implying that I think penetration is the only way to orgasm. That's ludicrous.

Ultimately we are just looking for suggestions. Instead of attacking someone, try to be helpful AT.

Thanks to everyone standing up for me here. I really did not expect someone to come back at the question in the way AT did. Still shocked..

Mar 18 11 - 10:28pm

@AT. I am a man. If I had trouble reaching orgasm, or perhaps trouble achieving an erection, then some kind of medical or expert advice would be exactly what I would need. I don't see how the OP putting that on the table is any different.

Mar 19 11 - 12:17am

Hey Fiance--it's cool to hear from you. You sound like a good guy, and I'm sorry if I sounded like I didn't trust your experience--just asking those questions because as an inveterate reader of sex advice (and listener to Dan Savage's podcast) it's amazing how many women I hear who feel like failures because they can't come from penetration (I actually kind of need it to come, so I'm not speaking from personal preference--I'd rather be fucked than get head any day--just extrapolating from things I've heard). Anyway, good luck in your quest. Has she tried finding the porn or erotic fiction that turns her on? Speaking just for myself, it can take me ages to come from masturbation without mental stimulation, but the right porn or naughty book + a vibrator gets me there a lot faster. If she, as you say, is not super sexual, she might not have spent a lot of time checking out racy books and such (sounds like hardcore porn probably wouldn't be her style, but there's so much out there to arouse and intrigue.) Just a thought.

Mar 19 11 - 1:39am

I also share the great disappointment at us sharing the same initials, "ana."
(Are you an MtF or something? You sound like a dude.)

Mar 19 11 - 7:51am

'Are you an MtFor something? You sound like a dude.'

With those two sentences, you just topped all the bigoted, reactionary, keep-the-patriarchy-goin'-strong-by-stickin'-'em-rill-good, warped views of gender, power and sexuality you keep finding in the words of this seemingly very decent dude and his supporters. Good job; I would have never guessed it could be done.

Oh, and to save your brain the pitiful effort of having to extrapolate my sexuality from that statement and prevent the shame of inevitably getting it wrong: I'm a happy gay man (read: bitchy homosexual misogynist. for rillz guys, i hate me some womenz.). And you're still a fuckwit.

Mar 21 11 - 9:01pm

AT: Go jump in a fuckin' lake.

Mar 18 11 - 10:58am

Great movie! Love Man on Wire!

Mar 18 11 - 11:05am

Fuck, folks. If the woman says she is uncomfortable going to the doctor, it likely means she is perfectly able to have an orgasm by herself when fiance isn't home, and she isn't being honest with him about it. (I've been there). If she knew deep down that she was physically incapable of orgasm, she'd probably run, not walk, to the nearest M.D.. Also, stop jumping down AT's throat, this person obviously enjoys taking an incendiary viewpoint and you are feeding the beast.

Mar 18 11 - 11:57am

Uh, I've known plenty of women who can't get off under any circumstances, including through masturbation. Some of them are vaguely bothered by it, some don't seem to be, but none of them have expressed a desire to "run, not walk, to the nearest M.D."

Also, AT may be trolling (or an unintentional caricature), but several of Cait's postings suggest that she shares some of her views, or at least has some of the same sex-negative chips on her shoulder.

Mar 18 11 - 1:45pm

You might be right, LAC. I have known some women that are not really bugged by a lack of orgasmic ability either...but certainly if one wanted to have a long-term, satisfying sex life with their spouse, they might be more open to the possibility of a health issue. In this case I can't help but think this woman may just need to open up about what she likes, particularly when her fiance is hung up on inserting toys to help her climax, not a clit stimulating toy.

Mar 18 11 - 3:56pm

I'm not sex-negative, I just happen to think that women are more than meatsocks. The sooner we accept the reality that the clit stimulation is overwhelmingly what gives us women orgasms, and not the being poked by a variety of objects in a variety of holes, the sooner we move towards a truly sex-positive world.

On a lightly different note, I still stand by the assertion that what the LW's fiancee may need is not a doctor or a sex toy, but a new sex partner, one that's simply better at sex.

Mar 18 11 - 4:27pm

Again, I wrote this to Miss Info, so that's why I'm responding.

Before I met my fiance, she was a virgin. She is in no way a highly sexual person. It's perfectly fine with the both of us. She isn't down because she hasn't had an orgasm. It's just been a goal for us for almost 3 years. Our sex life is great, but why would you not want to get to the next level with someone?

AT, again.. You have no idea who we are or our back stories. So stop implying that she needs to find someone new because she's never had an orgasm in her life. You're ridiculous, end of story. And again, penetration is not a necessity for orgasm. I never meant to imply it and if you read it that way I'm sorry. I'm looking out for her comfort here. She doesn't like penetration with toys, so I'm ultimately looking for a toy that stimulates her clit, just like you're saying.

Mar 18 11 - 4:29pm

"I'm not sex-negative, I just happen to think that women are more than meatsocks."
Fine, but being sex-positive necessitates that you also accept that men are more than rapists, thugs, and clueless buffoons. Otherwise you're no better than the woman-haters you inveigh against...and whatever fate you hope that they should suffer, well, that's the one you deserve as well.

(Also, as others have said, being sex-positive means that you avoid generalizing your own experience to that of other people, who are often vastly different from yourself. Some women hate direct clit stimulation of ANY sort, and their only partnered orgasms come from penetration, i.e. not oral sex or manual stimulation.)

Apr 30 11 - 3:56am

Gee AT, thanks for generalizing perfectly normal, healthy women who enjoy penetration as meat socks. That's sex positive and not degrading to women at all. I love to feel like I'm being abused every time I have sex that does not consist solely of getting my clitoris sucked (although it is a great warm up).

If you don't like it, you don't like it and we're not trying to force you to like it. That said, your experiences do not dictate what is acceptable for others to enjoy. I enjoy penetrative sex immensely because it feels good. I'm lucky that I can get enough clitoral stimulation for orgasm in a few positions, and it still feels really good in a few that I can't get an orgasm while doing.

NO one here is suggesting penetrative sex is the be all and end all of sex and female pleasure except for you. Shut your pie hole.

Mar 18 11 - 2:57pm

I definitely think the second writer may be suffering from anxiety and needs to see a counselor immediately and if need be a psychatrist I struggle with anxiety and the only way i've been able to control it and it's obessive thoughts is to see a counselor and I also take an anti anxiety medication, I'm suprised this was not offered as advice from Miss Information. I wish "polly" luck. i also wouldn't recommend medication alone it needs to be done with counseling as well.

Mar 18 11 - 3:26pm

Damn that Lelo gear is pretty lush. I wonder if there's an investment market in gold plated vibrators?

Mar 18 11 - 6:36pm

@AT You are a really angry lady. Whichever man wronged you in your life, and there must have been several, I'm sorry that happened. Believe me though that when someone says "You should see a doctor." it doesn't necessarily mean they expect something to be wrong, so much as they want to rule out and make sure everything is alright. The fact that the Fiance has now answered twice in replies stating that she has never had an orgasm ever says that she should perhaps be exploring avenues to better improve her sex life.

@Cait You are a strange person to give advice. I've never read someone so biased to certain writers, and avoid answering questions written in by others.

@Fiance I have had two friends that also dealt with this issue. The first girlfriend, got looked at, checked out and found that she was low on her iron and other vitamins within her body. She always felt 'good' during but never 'great' from an orgasm. My other friend got looked at by a professional, and was cleared of anything wrong. She instead did a few things. The first was watching some solo porn of other women, as well as instructional videos (there are a lot out there now) on achieving 'an orgasm'. This is sorta mythical in the sense that everyone's body is different in the first place, so to one woman it could be penetration, others it's clitoral, and others it's a combination of both and still others it requires a balloon, someone wearing clown shoes and a car horn, but you get the idea. It was more about her concentrating and 'practicing' on her own varying techniques and without the pressure. It shouldn't be about trying to resolve the issue, it should just be on trying new things. My buddy spiced it up with her (they were dating for several years, and still are) by making a folder on their shared desktop and the two of them downloaded and saved the videos. They'd each then watch it, the guy for pleasure, and the girl to try the technique. There's nothing 'wrong' most likely. It's probably just a mental block that has been put in place after a few failed attempts in youth and now with the additional pressure of feeling like she has too, she's probably concentrating on that when she gets remotely close.

Further more, check out the Hitachi Magic Wand. It's expensive, but doubles as a multi-purpose massager for everything. It's also not intimidating in what it looks like.

Best of luck dude.

Mar 18 11 - 7:49pm

CM, I can bet you that no more men have wronged me than have wronged you, I just happen to be a little more critical about things. And Cait is "a strange person to give advice"? ooh, I forget that anything remotely critical of the status-quo, especially critical of treating women like meatsockets, and of involving the Medical-Industrial Complex, is immediately considered suspect and deranged around here.

But. I am pleasantly surprised that nerve finally got the courage to hire someone with visible feminist leanings. Sign of progress! (and I hope that they won't cave in to all these haters and fire Cait).

Mar 19 11 - 1:29am
Chuck S

you free sunday?

Mar 19 11 - 12:09am

Meatsocket! Love it! Next time my boyfriend and I are role-playing I am totally going to have him call me his little meatsocket. Or maybe I'll call him that while I'm fucking him with a strap-on. Either way, it's delightfully filthy.

Mar 19 11 - 12:11am

Or maybe it's a better name for a metal band. Mëätsöckët! Smell the glöve!

Mar 19 11 - 1:30am

Haha. <3

Mar 21 11 - 11:43am

lol. @ana - Taking it to 11?

Mar 19 11 - 12:41am

@ana: Awesome.

Mar 19 11 - 1:14am

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Are you trying to say that Cait is the first feminist writer on here? Really? REALLY?

Mar 19 11 - 1:37am

Yes. Really, CM.
I can't take credit for meatsocket, unfortunately, but I'm glad y'all's can relate!

Mar 19 11 - 2:15am

Before I wave my obnoxious goodbyes, which really aren't that important in the Grand Scheme etc, isn't life grand? That poor 25 y.o. never-orgasmed woman is about to get tricked into an anorgasmic marriage, with the first dickhead that stuck it (and his toys) into her. I cry a tear for you, Fiancee.

Mar 19 11 - 6:02am

Yes life sure is grand AT...

For instance when someone like you actually dares to call themselves a feminist, whilst parading the exact same brand of immature, negative and condescending judgment toward the opposite sex that feminism was so instrumental in combating.

You resemble no-one so much as a deeply chauvinistic male, but seem to think that because you are a woman this somehow makes it insightful instead of pathetic. It's always been pathetic, not matter who's mouth it comes out of.

At the very heart of feminism is the desire for all people to be treated with dignity and respect no matter their gender, and you disrespect feminism by claiming to represent it with your determination to make the woman a victim in this story. (FYI ~ aggressively insisting a woman is a victim when all evidence suggests to the contrary, shows -zero- respect for women).

You got one thing right though, your goodbye was just as obnoxious as the rest of your comments. Good luck being the first person in history to find happiness and fulfillment through bitterness, anger and aggressively dehumanizing the opposite sex.

Mar 19 11 - 7:59am

Wow CS, that was an amazing post! Before I got to the end of the thread, without realizing she had left, I threw out a pithy little reply to one of AT's more ineloquent one-line gems. Now I'm here and see this brilliant farewell, and by comparison, my reply is looking more and more like something out of AT's phrasebook.

You've summed it up perfectly. Nice.

Mar 20 11 - 7:22am

Hey thanks James,

Didn't enjoy writing it, but felt it needed to be said...

Mar 20 11 - 1:59pm
Secret Character

Spot on CS. People don't lose focus.

Mar 19 11 - 11:33am

Fiance, I've had plenty of sex with men and women and I can tell you that a lot of the time, I didn't orgasm, but I did enjoy the connection, contact and yes, I did get physical pleasure from it. One thing I want to recommend is perhaps removing the focus from orgasming and just focusing on the love and touch and contact.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned using the tools of massage and tantra and reiki for this. Set aside a night where you're both relaxed and focused on each other. Have candle light or a dim light on. Lie in bed or wherever and just use the pads of your fingers to touch all over her body. Explore and discover the various parts of her. Enjoy her skin under your fingers. Touch areas you might not otherwise consider sexual. For me, my inner elbows are extremely sensitive. I also once turned an ex bf on intensely by licking the back of his knee (there's a story there). I did it just because his knee was there and I decided to, but oh my god, he suddenly picked me up and pulled me to him in one of the hottest kisses I've ever had! Also, try massaging her butt cheeks. They're very sensitive. For me, biting my hips (closest to the hip but between the hip and the belly button) does a number on me. For some women feet are very sensitive in an erotic way. So too are necks.

My point is that most women are NOT about nipples and vulvas. Our whole bodies are erotic tools, so get to know hers. Don't be afraid to be soft, but also don't be afraid to use tools such as your nails or ice or a feather tickler or a blindfold or even a knife (knife play is HOT - the goal isn't to hurt the person, just to tease them with the cold tip. If you draw leave a scratch, you're doing it wrong).

Also, since you've mentioned she was a virgin before you and isn't highly sexed, then you really need to realize you have a virginal mind here and need to play to that. I'm assuming you're more experienced. This is the time to bring out all of your bag of tricks as mentioned above, but also the time to make her feel *safe*. Make her feel safe, loved, cared for and like she can be vulnerable enough to let go with you and she will. My guess is there's a good load of fear and discomfort with her own body at play. Many women take awhile, whether it be through a variety of lovers or a bunch of time with one lover, to become acclimated to and comfortable with their own sexuality and sexual needs and wants. Be open to trying new things, and give her the space to be fearless. Compliment her with your words, but also with your eyes. And mostly, leave your libido and needs and penis out of it. Make the focus her and your love for her and her body.

Also, if she's not already, she needs to spend more time masturbating. Again, make the focus NOT about orgasm but just enjoying her own touch. I'd also turn her onto the Literotica.com site. They have, especially under their top stories list, a variety of really well written erotica with a lot of different topics. Tell her to tool around in there and read some stories. She should NOT be obligated to share what stories turned her on with you. Let that be her space to explore and understand for herself. Trust me, if you do that, you'll know soon enough.

Also, don't forget the importance of kissing. Spend hours just kissing each other. Seriously. Pecks and french kissing. Again, the point is to bring the focus back to the little ways you connect and show each other you love each other and want to bring pleasure to each other.

I'd also go to the bookstore or library, either together or her by herself, and peruse the sex shelves. There are some good books to be had. Avoid the more psychological ones aka "this is why you suck in bed" self help types. Some are good, some are just self-flagellation in written form. You should both look at som of the lesbian books, such as "The Whole Lesbian Sex book" because it's about, duh, how to please a woman! And since lesbians don't have a penis automatically attached, we usually are much more creative about sex. (Not saying we don't have toys to play with for penetration's sake, just that because the penis isn't the focus, we are sometimes more creative about how to get our lovers off. I'm going to get reamed for this comment, I can feel it already). I'd also take a gander at some of the BDSM how to books. Why? Because BDSM is, at heart, about communication. It's about boundaries and respect and learning your partner so well that you can read their needs before they even can, and then giving it to them without overdoing it. I'm not saying go out and buy a cat o'nine, just that you can learn plenty from the principals of BDSM, regardless of how vanilla or kinky you choose to be in your own bed.

Mar 20 11 - 3:10am

Wow. A lot of divergent opinions here. AT, quite obviously, from reading your posts, you have issues AND and an agenda (isn't it great when people you don't know TELL you what you are thinking......you do it so much I thought you may enjoy it.)

Fiance, I bet you never thought your wording in your letter would be so picked apart and apparently so loaded with meaning you never intended. Sorry it had to happen to you, you seem like a decent fellow. But I could be wrong.

Folks, guess what, lots of humans have trouble talking about sex in a healthy, open manner. This doesn't make them stupid, ignorant or misinformed. Just maybe self conscious. If the fiancee would be mortified at the idea of seeing a doctor about this, that's something she is going to have to get past. Regardless of whether her man sucks in bed or not. With the odds on marriages these days, it's better to know what's working and what isn't. Because if she finds herself single in a few years or a decade, starting over is hard, and not knowing your own likes and dislikes is same as not knowing your own boundaries. And not having clear boundaries is no way to be swimming in the dating pool. And yes, it can be medication more often than you think. And most health plans these days have a sexual therapy clinic. They often are far easier to talk to than your S.O. So if it isn't medication, they can often steer you to get the results YOU want, and answer the questions you have.

Mar 20 11 - 9:53am
Casual User

For LW#1 - Jimmyjane Form 2. Yes, it's $135. But it looks nothing like a sex toy, and you can't be penetrated with it. If there's a psychological issue, something like this might help. (And yes, I can say from personal experience that it's really easy to psych yourself out of an orgasm.) I'd also suggest the Sqweel, but it's kind of weird looking and may turn some people off.

I didn't have an orgasm until I was almost 30. Why? I was too embarrassed to talk about it with any partners. This was partly because I KNEW I wouldn't orgasm if a guy put all of his focus into giving me one. So, one day I told myself it was ridiculous that I still didn't know how to orgasm and bought a very nice (and expensive) Lelo vibrator. (I agree with Miss Information that their products are also a good place to start.) I'd bought a really cheap one at a seedy sex store and couldn't get off with it. So, let her pick something out that she'd like, and then let her explore - with you or without you - at her own pace.

Mar 20 11 - 2:46pm

hey, fiancee, I have some thoughts. First off, I can come on my own with the use of a vibrator, but have never been able to come in front of a partner. If your girl was a virgin when she met you, she may never have taken the time to explore her body on her own, and now that she's in a relationship, she may feel that she shouldn't have to. But she definitely SHOULD masturbate on her own - sometimes its easier to practice by yourself at first, before opening up to a partner. Also, you guys should smoke some pot together. Seriously. I find that being high makes me more sexually aroused, and also more able to shut out the chatter in my head and focus on my body. Also, for me anyway - but I think a lot of people share this - being aroused is about 40% what's happening to my body, and 60% what's happening in my mind. Fantasy is EVERYTHING. I have some pretty wacky fantasies that I'm embarrassed to share with partners, but when I'm masturbating on my own, and my mind is allowed to roam free without fear of judgment, I can get off pretty easily. She may not even know what her wacky fantasies are, if she's really never explored her sexuality, but this is yet another reason why she should be practicing on her own. And maybe sometime when you're going down on her or fingering her, you can describe a series of different scenarios - teacher/student, boss/secretary, cavegirl/caveguy - whatever, just throw a bunch of stuff out there and see if one scenario seems to turn her on more so than others. Finally - and this could be totally way off base, but I'm just throwing it out there - a lot of people are turned on by erotic power exchange, and if you are the kind of sweet, loving guy that you seem to be in your letter, and if she was a nervous virgin when you met, then you may never have thrown her around or roughed her up, because you are trying to treat her with love and care. Which is great, BUT, a lot of girls do secretly want to be thrown against a wall and taken (with their prior consent, of course). So maybe have a conversation with her about whether or not she's ever thought about that and if she'd be into it. I guess my advice basically boils down to: a) get her high, and b) try to get inside her head, because the female body is really tied to the female mind, and it's not enough to turn her on physically; you've got to figure out what turns her on mentally. Good luck - I think it's great that you are making this a priority BEFORE jumping into marriage - because I think it's dangerous to make a lifetime commitment to someone who really hasn't figured out their sexuality yet. Trust me, she's going to figure it out at some point, and right now, you really have no clue WHAT she's going to uncover when she does finally grow into herself sexually. Best to get that sorted before the wedding.

Mar 23 11 - 1:13pm

Sad that the threads are more interesting than the advice....been that way for weeks now....

Mar 24 11 - 1:16pm

It took me years of sex to have an orgasm, and a big part of the issue was the fact that most of the guys I was with were so goal oriented. The orgasm became the focus of our sex experiences, rather than just enjoying the sex itself. But a big part of what turned things around for me was just relaxing. Part of this was taking the pressure off myself and allowing myself to get lost in the sensations and just experience them rather than wonder whether or not I was going to come. Another part was that I happen to ejaculate and didn't understand what it was or how it worked, so I was always scared that I was going to urinate during sex, and so would essentially tighten up to keep that from happening, not knowing that what I was trying to prevent was in fact a very powerful orgasm. Now I know more about ejaculation and my body and how it works -- and have gotten good toys that work for me (yay Hitachi magic wand!) and some waterproof sheets, and my life has changed for the better. Patience, and stop focusing so much on the orgasm and just think about what feels good about the sex you're having. Whether I come or not, sex is fun!

Mar 26 11 - 10:37am

Hey Fiance,
I just wanted to tell you that you sound like a good bloke trying to do a good thing, for and with your good woman.
And you really don't deserve the bucket of grief that was tipped on you by AT. Just don't believe any of that, they are her issues not yours.
Try not to let it get to you, there is a lot of support here for you and your lover.
Good luck, mate!

Mar 26 11 - 10:12pm

Where oh where is new Miss Information? It's been too long! Ready for a new article, Cait.

Mar 29 11 - 5:30pm

When are the Nerve editors going to get in gear and pull the plug on this new Miss Information experiment? Ms. Robinson is clearly one of those misguided souls, like AT, who conflates feminism with thinly veiled misandry. The larger problem I have with her is the irresponsible guidance to people like LW2. You don't tell someone who's suffering from possible anxiety disorder to "get a grip" on it. Would you tell someone experiencing suicidal ideation to "accentuate the positive"?

Apr 24 11 - 10:09pm

Translation: "My name is Brian and I'm the kind of moron who equates feminism with hatred of men and thinks outspoken feminists to be misguided souls. As a solution to the problem of feminism, I mean man-hating, I propose that we oppose freedom of speech for feminists (man-haterz that is, the terms are truly interchangeable) and get them fired from their jobs; a little bit of income-loss is shown to do wonders with the man-hating speech issue. Signed, Brian, lover of women and free speech."

May 23 11 - 1:11am

AT, you're severely deranged, on several levels. I hope you get better.