Questions Send questions for Jenni Skyler to drjenni@ theintimacyinstitute.org.]
Dear Dr. Jenni, I have been living abroad in Thailand for a year. My girlfriend of four years is coming to visit me for Christmas for nine days. We haven’t been physically together in nearly seven months, and I’m really nervous about how we are supposed to interact sexually. Before I left, our sex life was kind of rocky, and I don’t know if the distance will make this better or worse. Any thoughts?
—Traveling Man in Thailand
Dear TMIT, Treat this trip as if you are dating her for the first time. Pretend you haven’t even slept together yet! Your goal is to seduce her with your charm and tourguide capabilities.
Show her around the country, wine and dine her, and let the natural sexual tension build … and hopefully eventually envelop both of you. Don’t rush the sexual activities, as she might feel pressured if you act too soon. You want things to emerge authentically.
However, do invite conversation about how she feels about seeing you after so many months. Share with her how you feel. Then deepen into how you both want to be with one another sexually. You can suggest sensual massages, baths, and make-out dates to start off with. Keep the lines of communication open regarding your hopes — and boundaries — and allow this new phase of your relationship to unfold naturally.
Dear Dr. Jenni, I swear I had a bona fide orgasm in my sleep the other night. And I’m a woman!! My girlfriends don’t believe me. Is it possible for a woman to do this?
—Coming In My Sleep
Dear CIMS, Yes! It is totally possible for both women and men to have an orgasm during sleep. Men may be more used to the wet dream that frequently happens during adolescence, or during prolonged periods without ejaculation; however, women are similarly able to think their way to climactic points of pleasure.
Sex researchers Beverly Whipple and Barry Komisaruk, co-authors of The Science of Orgasm, studied women who could have a mind-gasm during waking hours using mental imagery. When these women thought about different body parts, those same corresponding parts were activated in the brain’s sensory cortex as if actually stimulated. Rather than jacking off, some women consider this “thinking off.” This can occur during an arousing dream, and certainly if you allow yourself to surrender to orgasm while dreaming. Consider yourself lucky!
Dear Dr. Jenni, My boyfriend has strange domination fetishes. He frequently expresses the desire to tie me up to the bed and tease me mercilessly. I’ve never done any of these things, but I’m kind of curious. The problem is that I’m not at all submissive. I have fantasies of control that I’d like to explore with my boyfriend, but he doesn’t seem to have any interest in having the dirty things he wants to do to me done to him. What can we do given that both of us desire to dominate the other?
—Two Doms, One Bed
Dear TDOB, What goes around comes around, and reciprocity is key to solving your issue. You can co-create a role-play scenario that allows you to take turns as the dominant one, either on the same night, or on different nights of the week. Make sure you establish a “safe” word for when you play to maintain safe boundaries.
To further explore the possibilities of fun — and the limits of your boundaries — put together a list of all the possible sexual activities, behaviors and fantasies imaginable. Then rate them as either green (for sure, let’s do it), yellow (maybe, but let’s go slow exploring this terrain) or red (never ever).
Respect each other’s red lights and be open to receiving that which you are interested in giving.
And if you are short on holiday gifts, you can pick up a beginner bondage kit from an adult store if you don’t already have one. Or just pull out the scarves, ties and rock climbing rope!
Skyler is a sex therapist and board-certified sexologist who runs The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, www.theintimacyinstitute.org.