A: I'm flattered that your parents sent you to me for advice. Of course, your questions are general in nature, which forces me to be a bit general as well.
Where problems arise is during casual sex, when you're going to feel that a mistake is going to be looked at critically. So the best advice I can give you is to be in a strong, loving relationship when you begin to have sex. Then I can guarantee that anything you do will turn on your guy.
As for having orgasms, you'll also be more likely to have them if you feel confident in the relationship. But since each woman is slightly different, you'll have to experiment a bit to see what works best for you.
Just don't forget that you also have to protect yourself against unintended pregnancy and disease.
Q: Is it a bad thing if your husband has to think about porn when having sex in order to stay aroused? He thinks I'm the hottest and greatest girl ever, and we have a great sex life, but he sometimes has to think about porn when we are having sex (he said just the actions and not the women). And is it bad if a couple watch porn together on occasion when they have sex?
A: I wish people would keep what is going on in their heads during sex to themselves. If he hadn't told you what was in his head, you wouldn't be having this issue. Whatever people require to get and stay aroused is fine, as long as they keep it to themselves.
As for watching porn with a spouse, it's OK as long as both parties are in agreement about it. Most porn is aimed at men, and so is not very enjoyable to women. And anyone watching porn has to bear in mind that this is not real sex, but fiction. Whether it's "Behind the Green Door" or "Green Lantern," what is depicted in movies is not what happens in real life.
Q: My husband and I were virgins when we met (by choice). We are married now and have only ever been with each other. We love each other very much.
Is it hard for men to be with only one sexual partner their whole life? Are men in that situation more likely to cheat? Also, is it healthy (especially for a man) to never masturbate or watch porn and only have sex with his wife for sexual pleasure?
A: There is no single answer to your questions. It certainly is not unhealthy or abnormal in any way to be completely sexually satisfied by one spouse for a lifetime. Sex between married people who love each other has dimensions that are unavailable to those who engage only in casual sex or masturbation.
But since each relationship is so different, as the individuals are different, I can't answer your question with any absolutes. It may be hard for some men not to cheat, but that doesn't mean they will; and it may not be for others, who still might end up cheating, maybe even not because they are looking for sex but just affection. If you and your husband are satisfied, don't go looking for problems that aren't there.
Q: I'm 43 and in a relationship with a man I love and care very much about. Our sex life is great! My problem is that I'm not attracted to his looks. I feel horrible and shallow. Friends have said that this will become a problem. Please help — I need a reality check!
A: You can't be that upset by his looks, or you wouldn't have agreed to date or fallen in love with him. Your friends probably are telling you that you could do better and you're listening to them, and that is a mistake.
He may not be perfect, but who is? On the other hand, he must have a lot of great qualities.
I say stop listening to your friends, and listen to your gut. If you think it's a problem, then that's one thing. But if this is just your friends telling you this, then I would ignore them.
"Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50" (Quill Driver Books) is Dr. Ruth Westheimer's latest book. Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her in care of this newspaper. You can also find her at http://www.drruth.com.
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