Everything You Always Wanted To Ask About Sex ...

Ask Barbara!

Barbara talks about many of the fascinating aspects of the unlimited possibilities of sex in response to readers questions.


ON Orgasm And Afterglow:

Question: I've had new orgasmic experiences (for me) with a new sexual partner.

After 1-2 orgasms I get into an almost drug-like state for anywhere from 3-6 hours after. Totally relaxed, barely able to speak coherently, etc., etc. All I can figure out is that it is possibly due to a high level of endorphins being released.....can you shed any light on this, please?

Barbara: Yum!!!! Congratulations! You are describing an experience that many many people are looking and longing for. Yes, your experience is due in part to the high level of endorphins released during orgasm. But the orgasm and afterglow you describe is much bigger than that. My favorite definition of orgasm is "a release and expansion of energy flowing through the body/mind and connecting us to spirit." Orgasm is life-force energy coursing through the body and it's effects are magical, healing and mystical. The Eastern views on Sexuality (Tantra, Taoism) all describe and advocate this higher, meditative sexual experience. One Tantric teaching describes your experience as having three qualities: 1. Timelessness; 2. Loss of ego (Dissolving with your lover into something/somewhere else where "you" are not; 3. Connection with nature, the cosmos, all that is. Enjoy the afterglow!!! Let it open you to your deeper self and to deeper intimacy with your lover.


ON Masturbation:

Question: Two questions actually.

#1: I want to ask a friend if she masturbates but I don't know how to ask. How should I?

#2: What is a good way to masturbate? Please let me know.

Barbara: Many people are shy about discussing sex, particularly masturbation. Goodness knows there are so many societal taboos surrounding it. This is ironic, since almost everyone has tried it and most practice it with some regularity.

One way I have found to open a discussion about Selfloving is to start by talking about my own experience. For instance, I might say, "I've have noticed lately that my orgasms are better when I'm alone than when I'm with a partner. Have you ever felt that way?" By sharing something specific about yourself and masturbation you are opening up a safe place for her to talk with you about it.

There are an infinite number of way to enjoy masturbation. Everyone has their favorites. Here are some of mine. Perhaps you'll enjoy one or more of them.

First of all, take your time. Make your self-loving a full body experience. Caress yourself all over. Tease yourself. Use your Selfloving session to discover what you really love sexually. You can use your hands to arouse and bring yourself to orgasm, or you can explore an entire range of sensations available from other sources.

Invest in some sex toys. Buy good ones--the kind you'd give a lover. Go to a nice shop. In recent years many new shops have opened which have been designed and are run by women for women and their partners. Women and men can shop comfortably together. You no longer have to go to the back of a dingy, X-rated video shop. The new sensuality shops are pretty and inviting, like Good Vibrations in San Francisco, Eve's Garden in New York, Grand Opening in Boston, the Pleasure Spot in Sydney and Bliss in Melbourne. And there are many more. There's probably one near you. If not, the ones I've mentioned all have mail order catalogs. Simply call them and ask for one.

There is a huge variety of sensual and sexual toys to explore. Feathers, dildos, and anal pleasure devices are just a few of the most popular. If you want to explore them but are feeling shy, remember--they are toys. Think of sex as adult play. Sometimes you play with your toys alone and sometimes you share them. There are some toys you like to share and some you don't. Sometimes you play with others and don't use any toys. You don't have to be interested in sharing your toys with a lover although that can be fun. You can buy them simply for yourself.

One of the toys you might want to explore is a vibrator. There is a lot of confusion about vibrators. Let me try to clarify and dispel some rumors. First of all, there are the small, phallic shaped, battery operated vibrators. They are convenient and don't have cords to get in the way. But they are not very powerful and their batteries run down, often at inconvenient times. Then there are electric vibrators, sometimes called body massagers. They are bigger and the sensation they provide is more intense. Do not be dissuaded by size of the the electric body massagers. Their vibration is more subtle than you might imagine and they have a range of speeds. They give you the time to explore prolonged orgasmic experiences and you can use them on your body as well as on your genitals. And vibrators are not just for women. Men are particularly fond of the double-headed variety. Remember, you are stimulating the flow of blood to whatever area you vibrate, so it's great for your entire body.

Make love to yourself in new locations-- in the bath, in the garden, on a fur rug, in front of a fire. Try new positions. Instead of just lying on your back, make love to yourself standing, sitting, or in any other position you like or have always wanted to try. Make love to yourself staring into your own eyes in a mirror.

Explore erotica. Do it consciously and intentionally. Most of us have a rather limited view of erotica. We tend to gravitate to whatever first turned us on as adolescents. Expand your range. Find something that really ignites your passion. Y?ou may prefer written erotica, or photographs, or perhaps you've always wanted to see a really erotic X-rated movie. Try it. There are all sorts of erotica, from the most graphic and impersonal to the really sensuous and romantic. As women are making more sexually explicit art - both visual and written, the range of what is available has expanded dramatically. There really is something for everyone. Experiment. Take a risk and get something you've never even considered before. It's great for new sexual ideas!

Explore your fantasies. Although I don't recommend becoming lost in fantasies when we are with a lover, exploring our fantasies by ourselves can be very healthy and enlightening. Selfloving is a perfect time to do that. However, if you always fantasize when you masturbate, try concentrating on what your body is feeling, instead. Make your selfloving a totally tactile experience. Concentrate on each touch, each quiver, each moment of physical pleasure. It can be the most blissful experience of all.

Experiment. Have a raunchy quickie, have long Tantric evening, have a masturbation/meditation session-- all with yourself. Do everything you've always fantasized doing with someone else. Don't judge yourself - indulge yourself.

The possibilities for Selfloving are endless. To spark and expand your imagination, read the best book ever written on the subject, Betty Dodson's Sex For One. It's available at any good bookstore.


ON Transgender Surgery:

Question: I have a roommate who was at the time I moved in a TV (transvestite), and is now insistent upon having the Sex Reassignment Surgery (going male to female). I am not convinced she is TS (transsexual). I am an F2M TS (female to male transsexual); I have known since I was 7 about myself. Larry/Alisa will often refer to herself as being Bi-gendered and refers to herself as a dual person. She does not want to go to therapy, and is obtaining hormones and will get surgery probably illegally or in another country. She is adamant, but I am not convinced. I would like to discuss this in depth with someone who can help me understand how my TV roommate can suddenly decide she wants to have SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery).

Barbara: My experience is that people decide to have SRS for different reasons. As you know, each and every transgendered person is a unique individual. No matter how similar the surgical procedure, each person approaches it and responds to it differently.

Many transsexuals are like you and have known since a very young age that their bodies did not match their true gender. I have known others (fewer, I admit) who have come to understand themselves as dual-gendered. Some of these people may have been born intersexed - literally two-gendered. Many intersexed people are born with both male and female sexual organs and surgically altered shortly after birth, often without their parents knowledge! Whatever the reason or the cause, some transgendered people feel that they wish to express themselves physically as the other gender, but live somewhere between the two. One transsexual friend of mine living this way calls herself a spansexual, a term I am very fond of. She has had SRS, so she has a woman's genitals and small natural breasts, but has stopped taking hormones. She has a boyish/feminine quality. She felt the need to express as a woman, but her own unique kind of woman.

I see transsexuals as courageous pioneers. Perhaps spansexuals are a new breed of visionaries, pushing the gender barriers down even further.

I believe that everyone's experience is different and that it's best if we do not judge someone else's choices according to our own or to any accepted "norm" or statistics including those about gender reassignment and why people feel the need to have it.

If your roommate has been living as a woman as a TV, perhaps she has simply decided that she wants to be a woman rather than just dress like one. If she is convinced this is what she wants, then she is convinced. Perhaps she could benefit from therapy (most of us can at some time in our lives!) but trying to force her to go will probably only strengthen her resolve not to go. What seems to be the problem here is that you are not convinced. Frankly, it's not you who needs to be convinced, it's her and you say she is. Try to be as sympathetic as possible and give her plenty of opportunity to share her feelings. When you talk with her, try to share from your own personal experiences and above all, do not preach!!! I'm sure she could really use your love and support and understanding right now. Good luck to you both!


ON Female Orgasm:

Question: What does the female orgasm during intercourse feel like to the male?

Barbara: Well, I don't have a penis, so I cannot tell you what it feels like to experience a woman's orgasm with my penis inside her. But I can tell you what it feels like to experience a woman's orgasm in other ways. Witnessing and participating in a woman's orgasm is simply one of the most profound experiences in life. Physically, you may feel her vaginal contractions, feel her entire physical body peak and release. You may feel her fluids flow, perhaps even feel and see her ejaculate. Emotionally, you may catch a sense of what she is feeling (orgasm can release many different emotions), or you may be wrapped in the web of her heart opening and her trust in you. Spiritually, you may find yourself transported with her to a place of no-time, no space. Orgasm is simply one of the most blissful and powerful experiences we have during our lifetimes. It is a privilege and an honor for me to be with someone during orgasm.


ON Sexual Positions:

Question: I suffer from an erection that curves noticeably to the left. What can

I do to make sex more enjoyable for my partner? Intercourse is uncomfortable for her, and oral sex seems awkward. Any remedies?

Barbara: Try changing positions. You could let her get on top and rotate her body until she feels pleasure. Give her the time and the permission to experiment until she finds a position that is comfortable and pleasurable. She could try positioning your penis so that it comes into contact with her G-Spot. Let her use her hands instead of her mouth. She could stroke you in a variety of creative ways and you can tell her what feels really good to you. None of us are mind readers. Communicate! Let her discover what works for her and ask her to tell you. You tell her what feels good to you. Then you can adapt other positions so that your penis fits inside her vagina or mouth or hands in a way you both find pleasurable.


ON Increased Sexual Desire:

Question: I am a heterosexual male who has sex maybe twice a week. Lately my male hormones have been going crazy. I find my self wanting to have sex all the time; everyday, every minute. Although I do not have multiple sex partners I have been turning down opportunities lately to act upon these urges with other women. I practice safe sex but my new level of sexual desire has me scared I just don't know what is wrong with me!!! How can I curb my appetite???????

Barbara: I believe we all are in exactly the right place at the right time in our sexual evolution. Our sexual energy expresses itself in different ways and intensities all through our lives. So, please...take a breath and know you are not crazy. First of all, the more you focus on your increased sexual energy as a problem, the more likely it is to become one. Sexual energy is not just about sex. Sexual energy is your lifeforce energy, your creative energy. You have a lot of choices right now. You can use this energy to have sex with every woman you meet. This is generally not very fulfilling and can lead to all sorts of other problems. You can put all your energy into trying to suppress it. This is even a more risky option because whatever we try to suppress tends to explode with even greater force. Or, you can use it to explore new realms of sexuality, spirituality and pleasure.

I suggest you pick up a copy of the the new book 'The Multi-Orgasmic Man' by Mantak Chia & Douglas Abrams Arava. It's published by HarperCollins and is available in most good bookstores. This book explains in easy, understandable language how sexual energy works and how to move it throughout the body--how to charge it up and how to cool it down. It also explains the difference between orgasm and ejaculation. I think it might provide you with insights about the nature of sexual energy and ways to befriend it and utilize it. There are exercises you can do alone and others yo"u can do with a partner. Since your sexual energy is so high at the moment, this could be the perfect time to practice new sexual techniques and learn new sexual skills.

When you are able to work with your increased sexual energy, you will find that you experience increased creativity, productivity and greater health and happiness. Enjoy your increased sexual energy, learn from it and let it lead you to new realms of energy and pleasure.


ON Anal Intercourse:

Question: After having vaginal intercourse, I usually like to end up the love-making with penetrating my female in the rectum. For me it is very important to have our love-sessions end that way. She doesn't like it. What shall I do, oh gurus??

Barbara: I am not surprised your partner does not like it. It sounds to me like anal intercourse is something you are insisting on for your pleasure with no regard for hers. (Would you be willing to do something regularly that you found painful or distasteful or uncomfortable?) The muscles around the anus are very strong and unless someone is very relaxed and receptive, the anal muscles will be tense. Therefore, intercourse will be painful.

There are so many ways to give and receive sexual pleasure with a partner, there is no reason to insist on any one particular activity. What sexual activities give BOTH of you pleasure? Anal intercourse requires a tremendous amount of trust. If you are insistent upon it, or if your partner feels pressured to comply, that trust will not be present. It will be something she is putting up with to make you happy. Under those circumstances I wonder how much you can really enjoy it.

I would suggest you stop trying to get her to have anal intercourse with you and begin to concentrate on rebuilding her trust. Concentrate on her pleasure. She may never be interested in anal intercourse, or maybe she will. That is not the point. The point is that there are a million ways two people can make love that are nourishing, loving and passionate for both of them. I encourage you to explore them.


ON Crossdressing:

Question: I am a married male and over the past 12 months I have been crossdressing in order to fulfill a desire to wear women's clothes and act out feminine fantasies. It has now gotten to the stage where normal sex as a male is almost impossible for me. I have a supportive wife and she generally encourages these crossdressing fantasies as fun. (I can no longer sleep properly unless I wear a feminine nightgown also and sometimes I feel like a real "sissy"). Anyway my Question is this, since I no longer seem capable of ejaculating inside my wife, we feel she should stop taking the pill. She has a 4 month supply and I thought that if I were to take her pill this might have a desired effeminating effect on me. Would this be the case, or would it be a waste of time or produce harmful side effects?

Barbara: First of all--never, never--I mean NEVER take a drug prescribed for someone else. Birth control pills are not harmless benign substances. They are powerful drugs. And no, they probably will not have a feminizing effect on you (save perhaps a "placebo" effect) but they could cause a lot of other much less desirable reactions.

I feel from your letter that you are in some conflict about your crossdressing. It sounds like a lot has happened for you in one short year. I'm pleased that your wife is supportive and generally encourages the crossdressing fantasies as fun. However, it seems like crossdressing is a lot more important to you than "fun". Many, many heterosexual (and married) men crossdress. There are as many styles, frequencies and reasons as there are men who do it. The only thing that really matters is how you feel about it and whether or not it feels appropriately integrated with the rest of your life. When I read that "It has now gotten to the stage where normal sex as a male is almost impossible for me" and "sometimes I feel like a real 'sissy'", I sense that you have a lot of fear and confusion about your crossdressing. Have you shared this with anyone other than your wife? If not, you must be feeling pretty alone, if not downright weird.

I see that you are writing from the United States, although I do not know where. I suggest you find a support group in your area. You can often find them in classified section of some newspapers, especially the more alternative ones. Or you could call a local gay & lesbian hotline or center. Even though this is not a specifically gay issue, these centers are generally supportive and knowledgeable about gender issues. Make some calls, write some letters until you find a group where you can share what's going on for you and listen to other's experiences.

There are an infinite number of places to explore and exist along the gender spectrum. And all our sexual paths are as individual as we are. It is not where we are on the spectrum, but how happy and fulfilled we are there. If you would like to talk further about this, please feel free to write again.


ON Male Multiple Orgasms:

Question: Would you please tell me more information about "male multiple orgasms"? Is this real or is it a fake--just another way to make money from publishing more books?!!! Would you also guide me where I could search on the Internet sites to read more details about that multiple orgasm because it is difficult here in Egypt to find these books.

Barbara: Thank you for your letter. Yes, male multiple orgasms are completely real and achievable. I have witnessed many. The secret is learning to differentiate between orgasm and ejaculation - they are not the same thing. So long as a man does not ejaculate, he can have many orgasms. Once ejaculation occurs, the energy diminishes and the cycle is over. The secrets to male multiple orgasms and whole body orgasms is in learning how sexual energy travels in the body and how sexual energy travels on the breath. The Taoists have known this for many centuries. Finally it is becoming more known in the rest of the world. There is finally a really excellent book on the subject. The book is called 'The Multi-Orgasmic Man' by Mantak Chia & Douglas Abrams Arava. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is easy to understand and very complete.

I wish you luck on your exploration of this amazing experience. The men I know who have learned this technique tell me that it has completely changed their sexual relationships and transformed their lives.

Thank you again for your letter. Should I locate any Internet sites that would be of interest to you I will send you their addresses.

For more information or to contact Barbara see her website at www.barbaracarrellas.com

Last updated: 13/2/2005

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