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Sex Advice from . . . PhD Students

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Angeline, 33, culture & performance
Is there one particular discipline in which the grad students are especially sexy?
Without a doubt, the dancers and choreographers.

Have you considered having an affair with an undergraduate?
No. I don’t think an undergraduate has anything for me. When it comes down to it, one of the pleasures of getting older is getting better in the sack.

I haven’t really been in the mood lately and I know my fiancé is feeling underappreciated. Should I fake it so he feels desirable?
Sometimes you’re just not in the mood. That’s the way it goes. At the same time, your fiancé has needs. Don’t fake it, but since you two are about to get married, you should be able to have a conversation about how to meet somewhere in the middle — how his needs can be met, and yours too.

promotion

I sometimes spend a dozen hours in the library at a time. Is it okay to masturbate in a one-person public bathroom if I need a break?
Absolutely. School is stressful and studying is tough. It’s easy to forget about your body when your brain is working so hard. Balance is essential in school. Just be careful of getting caught — unless that’s your thing.

I can hear my roommate having sex almost every night. How do I say something that doesn’t cause tension between us but quiets her down?
A similar thing happened to me and my partner. Our upstairs neighbors would have sex all the time, and we were woken up many nights. One night we thought the ceiling was falling in because apparently they had broken the bed and it crashed to the floor. The next day, we dropped off a polite but forthright note that said something like, “While we are glad to hear you guys so happy, it’s keeping us up nights. Please try to keep it down.” The crazy thing was, our neighbor’s boyfriend came up to us the next day to tell us it hadn’t been him — the neighbor was having an affair. Needless to say, things quieted down immediately.

The moral is, a polite and thoughtful conversation can do wonders. At the very least, maybe they’ll put a rug under the bed.

My boyfriend likes me to wear Catholic-school uniforms and little pink socks when we have sex. Is it weird that he’s into that? Should I worry that as I get older he’s going to lose interest in me because he’s youth-obsessed?
Our entire culture is youth-obsessed. It’s completely disturbing. As far as the fantasy thing goes, it’s a problem if your boyfriend can only get fired up if you’re dressed as a little girl. Fantasy is okay as long as it doesn’t become the rule.

My boyfriend insists I get a bikini wax every two weeks. It’s expensive and painful, but I want to please him. Can I ask him to pay for it?
Ouch. Yes. Or take him to the salon and get his back or his eyebrows waxed so he knows what you go through. Then maybe he’ll back off the two-week thing.



MatthewMatthew, 31, computer science
I’m having an affair with my teacher and finals are coming up. I’m pretty sure he won’t give me any special treatment, but you never know. What’s the right way to handle this?
The right way to handle this would have been to keep your pants on until the end of the semester. Since that’s out the window, you have a couple of options. You could try coyly bringing it up when the two of you are together. Like, “So, I hope you’re not too cruel with that final.” Or you could go the more direct route and threaten to ruin his career if he doesn’t hook you up.

I sometimes spend a dozen hours in the library at a time. Is it okay to masturbate in a one-person public bathroom if I need a break?
What is it about libraries? Of course it’s okay, provided you’re discreet, you clean up any mess and you watch your hands before and after.

I know I’m not gay, but looking at pictures of male underwear models kind of turns me on. Is this normal?
That’s funny, my friend Tom says the same thing, and he’s married and just had a kid. Maybe the pictures remind you of being semi-naked with women. This begs the question of how exactly you “know” you’re not gay. Do you live in a red state? Did your gay test come back negative? Personally, I’m not big on the idea of having to label your sexuality, but maybe you’re not quite ready to face up to something.

My girlfriend makes a lot of noise during sex. I appreciate her enthusiasm, but I feel like she’s overdoing it. Should I tell her?
Maybe she watches lots of straight porn and is under the impression that maniacal screaming is sexy, or maybe she enjoys the feeling of being a bit out of control while having sex. The only way you’re going to find out is by asking. Bring it up at a time when the two of you are alone, in good moods and fully clothed. Focus on yourself rather than her. “I get a little self conscious when things get loud” goes over a lot better than, “How come you scream like a banshee when we’re in bed?”

How can I let my boyfriend know that even if he has an orgasm and can’t continue having intercourse, he can still get me off? He seems to think that once sex is over, it’s all over.
The next time the two of you getting together, cut things short just before he’s had a chance to climax. Tell him you’re done and are going to go to sleep. As he stares at you horrified, you can begin to discuss the importance of being a giving lover.

My girlfriend is terrible at oral sex. Should I try to teach her a few lessons, or would that be insulting?
It’s only insulting if you insult her, and unless you learn how to communicate about these things the situation is unlikely to improve. Start by asking how you can please her. Once you’ve established a dialogue, you can bring up the oral issue, and hopefully she’ll be receptive.

LizaFiona, 27, political science
Which department’s students would you most like to have sex with and why?
It’s a tie between the math-department boys and art-school boys. The artists are certainly more likely to be hot, but they’re also less likely to be showered. On the other hand, the math boys have all these hot, hot math brains, but they’re less likely to be into sex.

My sex drive is interfering with my studies. I’ve heard that taking a low dose of certain anti-depressants can help curb your libido. Should I look into this?
First, that trick only works for the first few weeks or months [that you’re on the pills]. Eventually the side effect will wear off, and suddenly you’ll be like a dirty old man at a junior-high swim camp. And that will come right around exam time. Antidepressants change your brain chemistry. Learning how to concentrate despite your surroundings is a better strategy.

My boyfriend likes me to wear Catholic-school uniforms and little pink socks when we have sex. Is it weird that he’s into that? Should I worry that as I get older he’s going to lose interest in me because he’s youth-obsessed?
Are you disturbed because you don’t enjoy this fantasy? Or because you’re afraid he’ll stop enjoying you once you can no longer affect the visage of a twelve-year-old? If it’s the former, ask him to play a different game, mix it up. Have him wear a tweed jacket with elbow patches and dark-rimmed glasses. If it’s the latter, I’d be more disturbed that he actually wants to do a twelve year old and you’re the closest he can get.

My girlfriend is terrible at oral sex. Should I try to teach her a few lessons, or would that be insulting?
She’s probably not down there to please herself. The next time she goes down, give her just one pointer.

I’m getting married in four weeks, and I’m suddenly panicky about never being able to sleep with anyone else. Should I go out for one last fling to try to get it out of my system before it’s too late?
Would it be okay with you if your significant other “got it out of his or her system” now? If you’re both on board with a last hurrah, then go sow your oats, plow a few fields. But if you’re hoping to sneak a last one-night stand, you should be picking up a set of divorce papers along with that marriage license.

I’m still friends with my ex, who I dated a long time ago in high school. My current girlfriend gets mad when I talk to her or see her at all. What should I do?
Your girlfriend has to realize that you existed before you met her. You have a past, filled with people who have accompanied you into the present. If this ex were an inconsequential friend, I assume you would have dropped her a while ago to ease tensions with the current girlfriend. Hang out with your ex in a larger group, and tell your girlfriend whenever you see your ex. You don’t expect her to drop everyone you don’t like, do you? Neither should she.

JamesJames, 25, political science
Is there one discipline in which the grad students are particularly sexy?
Paleoethnobotany. They study what people thousands of years ago ate for breakfast.

I’m getting married in four weeks and I’m suddenly panicky about never being able to sleep with anyone else. Should I go out for one last fling to try to get it out of my system before it’s too late?
You have decades and decades of a stifling marriage to look forward to in which you can cheat on your husband or wife all you want. What’s the fun in doing it before marriage? Don’t do it.

I haven’t really been in the mood lately, and I know my fiancé is feeling underappreciated. Should I fake it so he feels desirable?
If you want to spend the rest of your life with this guy, why aren’t you “in the mood”? It should be impossible for you two to keep your hands off of each other. It sounds like marriage might be the wrong idea.

My guy friends talk about sex all the time. I feel like doing so is a betrayal to my girlfriend, but then I wind up seeming like the prude at the table. Should I just go ahead and talk?
I guarantee you that your girlfriend has told all of her friends every intimate detail of your relationship, including the size of your penis, the amount of time it takes you to ejaculate and your ability to get her off. Don’t feel guilty. Spill the beans.  

Interviews by Shana Liebman. Sex Advice From… appears on Thursdays. Have questions for the general public? Send them to sexadvicefrom@nerve.com.

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