Q: Turning Competition to Cooperation.     The woman I live with got a sex toy catalog. The next thing I knew, she told me she’d ordered one of those large, penis-shaped vibrators. Frankly, I’m intimidated. How am I supposed to compete with that?      —Mike

Dr. Linda: Lots of men share your initial sentiment regarding vibrators, but look at the bright side! Your lover is obviously open to new and daring sexual adventures with you. After all, if she wanted it only for her personal use, doubtless she’d never have told you about the vibrator in the first place.

So quell your qualms, make friends with that big fella and discover what new delights it can bring both of you. Take turns using it on each other. Don’t just head for the genitals. Check out adjacent places like the inner thighs or the anal area. A vibrator can also evoke enormous pleasure hunting for hidden “hot spots”: The backs of the knees (have you seen Ally McBeal lately?), the arches of the feet…try it everywhere.

Your lover’s purchase may also have been an invitation to experiment with other new activities. Think of it as inspiration, not competition. As one respondent in my book research revealed: “I’ve been blowing horns since I was a kid, so I’ve known how to make my lips vibrate rapidly every since –except I’m a lot more gifted at changing intensity and speed than any mechanical vibrator could be. My wife loves it.”

Have fun exploring!   Pleasure Chest: www.thepleasurechest.com

Good Vibrations: www.goodvibes.com       Eve’s Garden: evesgarden.com


Q:  What is tantric sex?    Could you please explain what tantric sex and tantric yoga are? I’ve heard the terms and am curious to try, but I’m not quite sure what it’s all about.    —Sylvia

Dr. Linda: Tantric sex and tantric yoga really refer to the same thing–an Eastern approach to love-making that puts a lot more emphasis on slow stroking and spiritual connection and a lot less on orgasm. In the authentic, traditional approach, release of semen is viewed as a loss of “vital” fluid and is consequently discouraged. That doesn’t go over too well for many men in the western world, however.

However,  you might want to suggest that he check out his own experience of  intentional non-ejaculation or explore the sensations of in-jaculation (contracting his PC muscles at just the right moment and he’ll ejaculate into his bladder).

All versions of tantra emphasize s-l-o-w, gentle stroking and complete focus on moment-to-moment sensations of pleasure. Deep breathing in synchrony is also a tantric way to create a sense of oneness with your partner. Intercourse, if it takes place, occurs after extensive stroking (translation: think one hour, not 15 minutes). It’s also extended. and begins with the penis only penetrating the vagina by only an inch or so, staying there for a full minute and then withdrawing.

After resting on the clitoral hood for about a minute, the penis then slides back in. During subsequent rest periods, the penis initially stays outside the vaginal lips and then waits just inside them before penetrating again. To inhibit ejaculation in the missionary position, have him lift himself up on one hand and use his free hand to gently but firmly pull down on his testicles. Or you could do that for him.

In a nutshell, tantra  is about tossing aside goal-directed approaches to sex in favor of steeping yourself in sensual and spiritual connection. Give it a try.     www.tantra.com


Q: Finding the right lubricant for you.    What kinds of lubricants do you recommend? I’ve always heard Vaseline was bad, but I never understood why. What about lotions or massage oils?   —Tiffany

Dr. Linda: In general, it’s better to avoid oil based lubricants, because they don’t dissolve and can, to  put it plainly, “clog the plumbing.” That sets the stage for developing infections. Vaseline is particularly bad because it’s so thick.

Some find lotions and oils are okay, especially on the penis, but women may find their use in the vagina cause the same problems as Vaseline, since they’re all oil-based lubricants.

Save wonderfully scented oils and lotions for other parts of the body. For the genitals, water based lubricants are safer and equally effective. K-Y jelly is an old standby, but if that seems to clinical, try Astro-Glide, Maxilube, Sheer Sensations or whatever you find labeled water-based that looks intriguing in the local drug store or adult shop. Each brand proclaims superiority, so try a bunch of them. Have some fun and see which ones you like.