Death in Paris

View from my Paris window. But what good is beauty without wif?

Something I didn’t realize about Paris when I temporarily relocated here three weeks ago was that it’s literally the worst place on earth. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere more inconvenient, more miserable, and more burdened by seemingly arbitrary rules in my entire life. But it is pretty, I’ll give it that.

One of the things I find most annoying about France is that between 3pm and 7pm all the restaurants shut down so that everyone can take a nap. This doesn’t make much sense to me, because between 3pm and 7pm tends to be the time when I want to eat the most. The other time of the day I tend to want to eat–being someone who gets up quite late and doesn’t go to bed until about 4am–is around 10pm. However, all the restaurants here close at 10 so that is also impossible. So basically you get two windows during which to eat: between 12pm and 3pm, and between 7pm and 10pm. Now, coming from America–a place where we value a thing called freedom of choice–I don’t like abiding by these arbitrary, irritating rules. (Not to mention that on Sundays every single thing in Paris is closed, so it’s impossible to do literally anything at all.) And then, even when you do manage to make it to a restaurant during the five seconds a day they are open, the service is so abysmal and slow that the process of eating takes two hours. It’s like, don’t these people have lives? When I have lunch, I want to get in and get out quickly, so that I can get back to whatever pseudo-important thing I was doing beforehand. But here people prefer to just sit around and eat leisurely while drinking a bottle of wine (hence the need for a post-lunch adult naptime).

Also, I’m sorry but I can’t deal with the food here. I know French food has a great rep, but literally all they eat is bread, cheese and meat. How are they not fatter? Also, there are almost no vegetarian options anywhere, because apparently people here are just so obsessed with meat that they need to eat piles of it with every meal. Literally, even when you order a salad it comes with secret meat hidden underneath the leaves. The other day I was at a restaurant with some friends and we ordered a “mixed plate” (i.e. a plate of bread, cheese and meat, obviously), and I thought, ‘Oh that’s fine, I’ll just eat the cheese’, but then when the plate arrived it was laid out in such a way that the cheese was located underneath the meat, like literally hidden underneath a giant meat fort, causing all the cheese to be covered in the juices of animal fat, and subsequently taste sort of like meat as well.

And while I’m complaining about restaurants here, I should also mention that they are very expensive. In New York you can get a nice, healthy breakfast–eggs, sautéed kale, sweet potatoes, whole grain pita, beat juice–for like $12. Here they give you a pile of carbs and lard and it costs three times that. And in New York I can have that nice, healthy, cheap-ish breakfast any fucking time I want, and the waiter serves it to me with a smile, rather than angrily throwing the plate down in front of me in disgust, as if it was some massive inconvenience that they had to bring the food in the first place–because why on earth would someone imagine they could come to a restaurant and expect to be served food, ugh! (And if you’re wondering why I don’t avoid all this stress by cooking food at home, it’s because I just don’t like to do that, and part of the reason why I pay extortionate rent prices to live in cities is so that I’m afforded the convenience and luxury of having my food cooked for me at every meal. So there.)

Another thing that’s confusingly third-worldey about Paris is that is really hard to find the internet. I moved into a new Air BnB apartment last week, and the girl whose house it is neglected to mention that she does’t have wifi. How is that even possible? How do people live like this? When I called her about it (in a panic), she explained that she uses something called “Free Wifi,” which is the free wireless internet that exists all throughout Paris. That surprised me, because nothing in life comes for is free, right? But after many attempts over the past week to make the Free Wifi work, I’ve realized that its free-ness is rooted in the fact that it completely fails to function. In the midst of my mental breakdown I knocked on the doors of a few of my neighbors, to see if I could maybe borrow a wifi password, but they all live in third-world internetless homes as well. And practically no cafes have wifi either. The only places you can count on having the internet are McDonalds and Starbucks. Traj. As a result, over past week I’ve been forced to work from McDonalds, however the McDonalds wifi firewalls my blog (lol) so blogging has obviously been quite difficult. In order to upload things to my blog I have to crouch on the street outside of a hotel near my apartment and steal their wifi. Unglamorous. However, the absolute low of my trip thus far was yesterday, when I had to interview someone over Skype, and I had to hide in the corner of a McDonalds with my head and laptop hidden under a tent I made out of my coat, in order to block out the sound of screaming children. Kill me now. Oh, and then afterward I got an email from a stranger to my Slutever email being like, “Hey, did I just see you in a Paris McDonalds by any chance?” The shame…

Me crouching in the street, desperate for wifi
Conducting a Skype interview under a coat tent at McDonalds. Traj.

Another thing that’s been adding to my recent stress is that while in Paris I’m living with my girlfriend. I obviously love being with her–why would we be dating otherwise?–but I’ve never lived with anyone I’ve dated before, and as I expected it’s quite exhausting and nightmarish. It’s just weird to be around someone so much. And it seems like after a while, no matter how much you like a person, it’s impossible not to find every single thing they do infuriating. Admittedly, my gf is someone who is generally very easy going and always in a good mood, so it’s hard to find her annoying. However, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve begun to find her easy-goingness and general positivity the most infuriating things about her. Like for example, if we go for a walk, she’ll constantly stop to stare at things–random walls, broken windows, puddles–and then just sigh contently and comment on the obscure beauty of the world around us. This obviously makes me want to smash her head in and scream about how ignorant she is for not being able to see how disgusting and annoying life is and how mutant-like most people are. However, whenever I say this sort of stuff to her, she just laughs casually and tries to Instagram me.

Another scary thing about living with the person you’re dating is that after a while you become really gross. You stop caring about looking good and saying interesting or funny things, and just regress into this repulsive, cave-person version of yourself (i.e. the person you are when you’re alone). For example, I’ve almost completely stopped showering. And I don’t even care because it’s like, “Whatever, we’re still going have sex anyway. But actually we probably won’t because I fucking hate you and think you’re the most annoying person on earth. But also please don’t leave the room because I’ll be lonely without you.” Thus is the essence of living with the person you’re dating, in a nutshell.

Sigh. It’s only when I leave New York that I realize how amazing it is to live in a 24-hour city full of friendly people, where kale is served in almost every restaurant. And I’m sorry if I sound like a whiny bitch but, ya know, life can be really hard sometimes. Also, where is Louis Garrel? Doesn’t he live in Paris? I haven’t seen him once.

Slutever’s “Sexytime Dilemmas” on Jezebel!

Photo by Marilyn Minter

The second installment of my new advice column for (aka the new feminist bible) is up! Now pasted below:

I’ve always enjoyed sex and more recently have learned to practice safe sex. However, the other day I was trying to count how many partners I’ve had in my life and couldn’t do it! I feel like there are people I can’t remember. I also can’t remember who exactly I lost my virginity to, although I know it was in high school. Is this strange? Should I be consulting a physician regarding the possibility that I’m suffering from a sex addiction? If I am practicing safe sex, and not hurting anyone, is it an issue that I’ve “lost count”?


Dearest Sacha,
Most of us can’t remember everyone we’ve had sex with, because sometimes we sleep with people while we’re blacked-out, obviously. 

To answer your question, I do not think you are a sex addict. Essentially, an addiction is a behavior that affects your life in a harmful or negative way, something that you feel powerless to stop. So as long as you still enjoy sex and are smart about it (which it sounds like you are), and your urge to fuck hasn’t gotten so out of control that you’re offering your mouth-hole to crack monsters in the street, then you’re A-OK! Basically, just because you can’t remember everyone you‘ve boned doesn’t mean you’re Tiger Woods. Rather, it probably means that you (1) are kind of slutty and/or (2) have a bad memory. (The latter seems like a definite possibility, as TBH it’s pretty weird that you can’t remember who took your virginity — was it at a blindfolded orgy?)

The moral of the sex story is, as long as you remember to be safe, then you can forget basically everything else. Although it’s probs best to try and remember the name of the person you’re fucking at least until the sex is over. I learned this the hard way, when the guy I’d met 30 minutes earlier pulled his dick out of my mouth and shouted “Say my name, bitch!”, and I had to be all, “Oh… yeah… uh, can you remind me of that again?” Mood killer.

My boyfriend can’t get hard over me anymore and in turn, won’t fuck me. Is this because of his “dietary problems”? (Google diagnosis) I’m the one who feeds the fucker and he still won’t have sex with me! Could it be because I’ve put on 7lbs, or because he’s just not attracted to me anymore? I’m starting to hate that he goes soft after eating me out for 10 minutes. THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH QUIET MASTURBATING I CAN DO NEXT TO HIS SLEEPING BODY PLEASE HELP ME!

Kind regards,

GURL, we have all been there! I don’t even want to tell you how many times I’ve quietly masturbated next to a sleeping lover, paranoid he’d be awoken by the dull vibrations of the bedsheets as I nervously flicked my way to happiness. However, on the plus side, these repeated secret masturbation sessions have made me a master of jerking-off with minimal movement or sound, which means I’m now able to guerilla masturbate in even the most public or cramped of places (i.e. on airplanes, in movie theatres, sitting on the couch with my mom, etc.). Seriously, all I need to do is throw a coat over my lap and I’m good to go!

But moving on, there are lots of reasons why your bf might be losing his boner. Impotence is a complex issue, and sex is extremely psychological, especially when you’re in a relationship. Things like this are never as literal as, “he doesn’t find you hot,” and gaining 7lbs is not enough to make someone not want you. (It’s 10lbs, at least.) Maybe there’s something else going on in your relationship that’s causing him to feel anxious or insecure that needs to be worked out before he can properly perform. You need to talk things through with him, but you have to go about it the right way. For example, shouting, “What’s wrong with your dick, you failure?!” is probs a bad idea, as impotence can be caused by a loss of sexual confidence due to a previous inability to get it up. Instead, a good idea is to take the focus away from his peen for a sec. Rather than waiting to masturbate until he’s passed out, why not involve him, and have him watch you? This is sexy, and it will put less pressure on him to please you, because you’ll already be getting-off. Ya know?

Also, just because a guy can’t get hard doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not turned on. Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition, and can be treated, so maybe he should see a doctor. On the other hand (not to be a bummer), there is the possibility that he’s just bored. Sometimes in long-term relationships this happens, which is why it’s good to switch things up once in a while, to keep your sex life exciting. Like maybe buy a new sex toy (like a horse-tail butt-plug, for instance), or do some role-play: you can be the urologist, and he can be the patient whose chronic case of bonerlessness you’re desperately trying to cure. Or something.

I’m 35 years old and have been with my husband for 10 years. We’ve been monogamous throughout and have a great sex life. In the past year we been exploring fantasies and have discovered we both get really turned-on when thinking of me sexually with another man. He says he wants other guys to know how good he has it with me. But now he’s taking it to another level and is naming off people we know that he could see me with. I find this fantasy exciting but I feel he is pressuring me, and I don’t know what to do. I am worried it will ruin our relationship. Please help!


This is a hard one. I’m inclined to say that if you’re feeling pressured or hesitant at all, then you shouldn’t do it. Sometimes fantasies aren’t meant to be realized. Like, I have a serious rape fantasy, although I’m almost positive I wouldn’t want to be raped IRL. You never know — the reality of sleeping with another man might weigh far heavier on you, and your husband, than you imagine. 

However, if this is something you guys decide you really want to try, then for the love of god DO NOT sleep with someone you know. That’s a horrible idea. One rule of threesomeing is that it’s best to fuck someone who is disconnected from your relationship, otherwise you run the risk of majorly complicating things, and instigating unnecessary jealousy and resentment. My suggestion would be to travel to another city and fuck a random internet stranger, this way if it all goes horribly wrong at least it was in a different area code, which means it doesn’t count.

Vice Slutever Show: Orgasms: Where R They?

As we all know, sex is really fun. But then sometimes it can randomly be a frustrating nightmare. Did you know that only 30 percent of women achieve orgasm during sex? TRAGIC! In this episode, I take matters into my own crotch and investigate the ins and outs of female pleasure, speaking with Dr. Barry Komisaruk, who has been studying the science of orgasms for over a decade; celebrity sex therapist Sari Cooper; and porn superstar, Bobbi Starr. You’re welcome.

Andrew Richardson: Sex and Love

I recently interviewed Andrew Richardson, the man behind Richardson mag (possibly my favorite magazine in the world) for Interview magazine. Read the article below. And buy the new issue because it’s amazing and also because I have an article in it :) Photo above by Tim Barber.

In 1998 Andrew Richardson launched the now infamous Richardson magazine—a radical publication about sex, fetish, desire, and porn stars. Speaking about sex in an analytical and academic way, Richardson is more an anthropology experiment than a titillating porn rag. In the new issue, A6, the magazine takes on its most challenging theme to date: Love.

The cover of A6 sees the skin-headed porn star Belladonna smiling her signature gap-toothed smile, shot by Terry Richardson. Previous issues, which dealt with themes including feminism and the male gaze, have featured greats like Harmony Korine, Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti, and Bruce LaBruce, offering their take on extreme sex for Richardson‘s beautifully printed pages. And though there have only been six issues in its 14-year lifespan, the magazine’s transgressive, punk ideals have turned Andrew Richardson into something of a counterculture icon.

Born in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, the dashing Mr. Richardson has lived in New York for over 20 years and works primarily as a fashion stylist. (Fun fact: he worked on Madonna’s Sex book back in ’92.) The latest issue of his sex mag features an investigation into the BDSM empire, a photo essay by Dan Colen about his friendship with Dash Snow, writings on love by Dennis Cooper and drawings by the Chapman Brothers, to name a few. I talked with him about love, sex, and the makings of what he has called America’s first “asexual sex magazine.”

Why love?
Andrew Richardson: I thought it was the most difficult subject we could deal with.  We made associations to fraternal love, loss of love, or one could say atypical concepts of love. It turned out more counter-love, in a way.

Do you believe in love?
Well, I don’t really know what love is. There are many languages that use multiple words to describe love, in order to capture the nuances of the feeling. But we good Anglo-Saxons just have one blanket term for the emotional reaction to intimacy. A friend of mine once told me that his parents, who are still together and have a very good relationship, never use the word, and I think it’s probably a good idea. I think if you don’t say it and instead just behave in a loving, considerate, respectful way towards the person you’re with, that it’s much better than saying “I love you” to compensation for less than excellent behavior.

And when people say “I love you,” too often it loses its meaning and becomes cringey.
Yeah. I’ve been in situations where I’ve felt extremely euphoric—those moments when you just want to cut yourself open and become one with the other person. And when you feel that way using the word “love” can feed the high. But demonstrative love is the worst thing in the world.

In this issue, you published excerpts from Dennis Cooper’s novels and poems that pertain to love. Often, his depictions of love and obsession are similar to what you just described—wanting to cut someone open and crawl inside their body, to get at what’s “inside” a person. It’s a good analogy.
I was watching an interview with a porn star recently who had done lots of extreme scenes, and the interviewer asked her, “Now that porn has reached such an extreme level, what’s next?” And she said, “Maybe people will start cutting each other open and fucking the wounds.” Now that would be impractical, but I get it.

Do you think that’s what Bruce LaBruce was getting at with all his zombie porn?
Yeah, but Bruce is so smart that when he does something like that you think, “Oh, I’ve figured it out,” but then some much deeper, significant reason is revealed to you that makes you realize just how superficial you are.

David Foster Wallace wrote a famous essay about the porn industry after attending the 1997 AVN Awards. One of his conclusions was that all of the clichés about porn are true, and that the people involved are quite stupid. Do you think that’s accurate?
Well, that conclusion is a bit easy, isn’t it? In my experience, people in the porn business have often surprised me by being smarter, more ambitious, or more in control of their careers and lives than one would presume. And maybe going to the AVN Awards isn’t the best place to get an idea of who the people in porn are. That’s like going to the Oscars and seeing a drunk actress make a fool of herself, and then thinking all actresses are drunken fools. It’s difficult to write about porn, because it’s something that’s quite sensational and quite loaded. When our magazine interviews porn stars, our aim isn’t to be mean, or to expose them for being clichés. We just show them for who they are.

Why did you choose porn star Belladonna for the cover of this issue?
People in the office had been talking about her for ages and it just seemed like the right thing to do. I would have put her on the cover had we not taken a hiatus from publishing the magazine in 2003—she would have followed Tera Patrick—but that didn’t happen. I think it’s interesting that her success was an accident of fate. About ten years ago, Diane Sawyer interviewed Belladonna for Prime Time, they followed her around for two years, and in her final interview she broke out in tears, and did all the things that porn stars are supposed to do—she gave the sensational interview. And the show gave her so much exposure that she became a huge success.

It humanized her.
Yeah, it showed her to be vulnerable and conflicted, and maybe that was an unconscious turn on for a lot of people. And by doing that she changed the perception of what a porn star is—within the industry and outside of it—on its head. Really she was the right girl, right place, right time.

You interview porn stars in the way a culture magazine would interview an actress. What was the idea behind this?
When I came to New York in 1989, I started listening to Howard Stern. Porn wasn’t readily available; to get it, you had to go to some dodgy store and have a shame attack walking in and out. It felt a bit dangerous, like scoring drugs or something. And so I knew about porn stars mainly from listening to Howard Stern. What we do with our cover girls is an extension of, or a recontextualizing of, the Howard Stern interview. Except where Stern asks very puerile questions and can be a bit juvenile, we deal with it more analytically. We’re trying to find out who these women are, but without being flippant or crude about it.

Is it correct to say that Richardson deals with the psychology behind the people who are involved in porn and the sex industry?
That’s one aspect. People often call it a porn magazine, but outside of the cover star I don’t think the magazine really deals with the porn industry. We deal more with people like Annie Sprinkle, who come from the world of porn but have radicalized it.

Because you have been exposed to so many different avenues of sexual behavior through the magazine, has it changed the way you think about sex, or affected what you are into personally?
It’s definitely informed me about what’s potentially on the menu. When you enter this somewhat isolated world, stuff that would be shocking to civilians becomes no longer a big deal. You realize it’s all “just fucking.” But I think a lot of the change that’s happened within me is more to do with the way people’s perceptions and expectations of me are different, now that I’m publicly known for making a sex magazine.

So basically now people think of you as a sophisticated bachelor who fucks lots of porn stars.
Yeah, like a low-rent James Bond, I suppose. But I’m probably a lot more sensitive than people imagine.

You have lots of feelings.
When I’m not compartmentalizing them, yeah. But I enjoy that confusion, because I’m into provocation. At heart, the magazine is really about provocation and confrontation; sex is just what we use to provoke. Because if you pontificate about sex in a fanatical way, you’re a joke. But if you’re analytical about sex, it makes people very uncomfortable.

Are you trying to piss people off?
Well, I think when you are a provocative person, you need a negative reaction, or you need to be misunderstood, in order to then come back in quite an articulate way and explain just how wrong the other person is. Most of the work that I enjoy from people, whether it’s film, painting, photography, or writing, is fueled by anger more than it’s fueled by love, or a desire to share. Deep down I’m just a middle-class boy from suburban England, so part of me is very conservative. So in a way I’m seeing how far I can push myself, or the audience, to a point where I don’t go to jail, but I push some buttons. It’s the erotic attack. I’m trying to shock my parents, ultimately.

So what was your introduction to sex, being a suburban British child with parents in the Church of England?
It was from a Harold Robbins book, when I was about 16. I had seen porn before—I’d looked at some porn magazine under a bush at school or whatever—but that book was my first real introduction to sensational descriptions of fantastical sex. Like Helmut Newton sex.

Hot. So what do you see yourself doing next?
I would like to use other mediums to take the point of view of the magazine into areas that maybe have more mass appeal. Like I think what you do for example has a real mass appeal. I don’t think what I do does, unfortunately.

How do you think what you do is different from what I do?
Well your voice is very normalized–that whole delivery of  “like” and “OMG, no big deal.” It’s dumbed down in a quite deliberate way. You’re trying to communicate directly to people about sex, and have a direct relationship with them, speaking to them in words they won’t be overwhelmed by. It’s accessible. And what we do at the magazine is try to offer up things that demand more of the audience, and counter intuitive point of view, using a tone that’s more academic and serious.

It’s like, “Fuck you, I’m going to talk about sex in a really intelligent way and make it challenging for you.” It’s quite punk.
Is it punk?

I don’t know, probably. So …one of the main stories in this issue is about your trip to the armory in San Francisco. Can you tell me about that?
The story is about extreme sex practices, and the modern evolution of porn and fetish. I am interested in how extreme sex is commercialized in the online world, and how fetish is the only thing in porn that’s really growing right now, whereas the more conventional idea of pornography is sort of dying.

Fetish is so mainstream now.
It is. I worked as an assistant on Madonna’s Sex Book in 1992, and at the time that was pretty radical, now everybody knows about bondage and fetish. It’s in fashion; a lot of what is edgy about fashion comes from the fetish community.

So in a world where extreme sex is becoming more and more commercialized, does Richardson need to make extreme changes in order to keep being transgressive?
It’s like religion in a way: religions shouldn’t change. They should be what they are, and when they’re out of date they should stop being. Richardson is what it is, there’s a rough formula to it, and when that’s no longer relevant I’ll stop making it and start doing something else.

Dating 101: Sex Therapy

So you know how I give out sex advice on my blog all the time, and how I just generally discuss sex as if I know what I’m talking about? Well, (surprise!) I’m not actually qualified to be giving anyone advice about anything ever. Woops! To better equip myself to answering your (and my own) sex questions, I decided it would be a good idea to speak with the professional sexpert, June Tomaso-Wood. June is a psychotherapist who specializes in sex therapy. At the moment she is writing a book about sexual dysfunction, ways to pick up sex drive, how to maintain a meaningful relationship, and how to have the best sex of your life. So basically she has the answers to everything we’ve ever wanted to know. I hope this interview will help to clear up some of the stuff that’s constantly confusing all of us about sex/relationships/life in general.

I get a lot of girls who read my blog emailing me, complaining that they have difficulty cumming during sex. This is a giant problem for girls! How do we fix it?!
June: Let me tell you this straight up: only 30% of women have an orgasm during intercourse. That’s not a high percentage. Most of the nerve endings are on the outside of the woman’s genitle erea. There are 8000 nerve endings on the outside of the vagina, compared to 4000 nerve endings on the male penis. Men are more concentrated on the actual act of intercourse because it feels so good for them, but it’s only the first two inches of the vagina that have nerve endings. That’s why size doesn’t matter, and why foreplay is so important!

Yeah. Penetration, without any clitoral stimulation literally just feels like inserting a tampon on repeat forever.
Right. So what’s wrong with oral sex? What’s wrong with mutual masturbation and digital stimulation?  What’s wrong with getting off in different ways?

I think sometimes, especially when you’re young, you assume that you’re supposed to cum from the actual sex, so you’re embarrassed to masturbate in front of a guy because in your head masurbating is what you do when you’re alone. Also guys watch porn and it (wrongly) teaches them that girls cum just from getting fucked.
That’s what they think, but it’s not true. That’s why women need to get more acquainted with their own bodies, in order to transfer the training to their partner. Just because it feels so good for them to have intercourse doesn’t mean that women don’t need more foreplay and to have the outside more aroused for them to enjoy the intercourse. They don’t get it, you have to educate them. That’s why it’s awful that many women from religious backgrounds feel guilt about touching their own body.

So what do you tell people who have difficulty reaching orgasm during sex?
I tell people to relax, and that it takes training to really have a good orgasm with intercourse, and a lot of stimulation. This is what I suggest to start with nice long foreplay, like oral sex–hello!–and/or using vibrators on the outside, on the clit, to encourage the clitoris. This will make it so you’re stimulated on the outside, which also increases the blood volume on the inside at the g-spot. The g-spot is sitting on the paraurethral gland–it’s like a little seat that the g-spot sits in–and if you stimulate the outside as well as the inside where the g-spot is, with intercourse in the right position you might be able to have an orgasm that way. And if you have a vibrator on the outside as he’s thrusting, your chances are much better. So tell him that. And remember that the nerve endings are mostly on the outside! Men don’t get it!

For me to have an orgasm usually things have to be more slow and I need to concentrate. But then sometimes I just want to be thrown around and just be fucked really hard, and that’s not really conducive to me having an orgasm, but I still like it. So basically I can still enjoy sex even if I don’t cum, if it’s the right kind of sex.
Yeah, but a lot of men aren’t OK with the girl not cumming because they have such egos. And of course you can fake orgasms, but if you fake it, you have to keep faking it, because then their ego is fed and you have to feeding it. That’s why it’s so important to tell him what you like in bed. You can say things like, “You know honey, the other night when you did this or that, that felt really good. Can you do a little bit more of that?”

On your website you heavily promote sex toys. Why are sex toys such a big deal?
The reason I tell a lot of people to use them is because they are a buffer. So like dual stimulators for women, rings for men, vibrators, bullet, etc. They are really good for people who have anticipatory anxiety about sex. At our age this generally isn’t a problem; people are just crazy horny and all they want to do is screw. But as you get older things change and there is a lot of emotion connected to sex. Some people begin to feel shameful because they don’t know if they perform well, and a lot of men lose their erections and whatnot, so I promote the toys as a buffer, because it allows people to focus on the toy and not be so focused on themselves.  

That makes sense.
For example the Bullet is great for a woman’s clitoris, but it can also be used on the underside of the penis and be really stimulating for a man as well.  

What about if you’re in a relationship where you fight a lot? How do you fix it?
I meet with couples about conflict resolution a lot. What I advise is for the couple to pick one night a week where they can spend half an hour with each other sharing one gripe at a time. You should make eye contact, be respectful, and use a good tone–soft and gentle–and then tell your boyfriend something that’s been bothering you, and then you have him reflect back what you just said so you know you’re being heard. And then it’s his turn. And if you allow time for these gripe sessions once a week it means you get your frustration out in a positive way, instead of arguing all week. You learn how to discuss and problem solve and to compromise better.

What if you are both passive people, so you almost never fight, but then when you do fight it’s like a gigantic horrible explosion?
Well, having an argument or a disagreement is not always a bad thing. No relationship is copescetic all the time; it’s unrealistic to thinks it’s going to be heavenly every day. You’re different people, you’re different sexes (sometimes), so of course you’re going to have disagreements. It’s the way that you handle them that’s important.

What do think about open relationships?
I think every relationship is different and if both of you are in agreement and you feel comfortable and you set clear boundaries about what’s OK and what’s not OK, then there’s nothing wrong with it.

Sometimes I think it’s better to be lenient than to put up these crazy boundaries, because then you just want to rebel against them, ya know?
Some people can’t handle that. They’re jealous as hell. Some people simply can’t handle someone having their hands one their woman, and vice versa.

Do you think sometimes a little bit of jealousy can be good for a relationship though?
I guess it depends on what you’re looking for in the relationship, because it can also be dangerous. The thing about sleeping with people outside of your relationship is that you run the risk of becoming emotionally involved. That’s the dilemma. Sometimes you don’t expect that to happen, but damn it, it does. And then what do you do?

So maybe it’s better to deny yourself of something that you want, because in the end it will make your relationship stronger for having made those sacrifices?
It definitely can, yes. But I also think that you’re very young, and that there’s nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality at your age. And even if you decide to make a commitment to someone and have children, you’re married for a long time! So have fun while you can! As long as you’re safe, of course.

Do you think it’s a good or a bad idea to sleep with someone on the first date?
What I say to a lot of the women who I work with is, “What’s wrong with building a relationship and building emotional intimacy by staying away from sex for the first three months?” Now at your age three months is forever, but for women in their 30s and 40s, spending three months in a casual relationship, going out to dinner, seeing a movie, dancing, etc, allows you to build emotional intimacy, and then when you do have sex it will be amazing and passionate. I’m not talking about one night stands or physiological release, I’m talking about women who are serious about getting involved in a relationship that they want to maintain. Then I would say give it a month or two–you don’t have to jump in the sack right away. Get to know them, see if there’s chemistry. It’s not all about the physical. The emotional is important too.

But what about people who are, like, twenty-two?
Well twenty-two is hot! If you’re twenty-two and you are exploring your seuxality, then I wouldn’t advise you to wait that long, of course not. I would say explore and have casual sex, but be selective and be careful, and wear condoms so you don’t get HIV!

One common question I get for my Ask Slutever column is from people who are around twenty, who are still virgins, who want to know if they should sleep with a random and get the first time over with, or if they should wait to have sex with someone they love. What do you think?
Very good question. I’ll tell you a story, the first guy I ever had sex with was a urologist. You know why? Because I really just wanted to get rid of that hymen and I thought, “who better than him to do it?” He was twenty-seven and I was eighteen, so it was kind of nice. It was more about getting rid of it. You don’t always have to be in love to have sex.

I think some people overthink the first time.
Yeah, some people analyze it too much. The most important thing is, if you’re going to have sex, you have to be sexually awakened. You can’t be coerced into it. Your body really has to want to have it. And if you want it, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having sex with someone you’re not in love with.

When I was young my mom told me not to have sex before marriage.
Oh god, why would you buy a pair of shoes without trying them on?! I know a case in point where a woman’s husband died and she remarried–the new guy was in his 50s and a multimillionaire–and after the wedding she found out he was impotent. She was furious!

That happened to Charlotte on Sex and the City.
I think that’s pretty damn stupid. I mean, come on!

If you’re in a relationship, how important is it to talk about sex with your partner?
Emotional intimacy is extremely important, and keeping a positive dialogue is extremely important in a relationship, and will bring you a lot closer. It’s definitely important to sit down and talk about sex, and what you like and what you don’t like, and what you prefer. And if your boyfriend cares about you deeply then he will want to please you, and visa versa. That’s where the emotional intimacy comes in.

I think sometimes people find it embarrassing to talk about sex really seriously.
Even in your generation?

Yeah. Like I think I almost find it easier to be really grotesquely blunt, and to say things like “I want you to bend me over that table and fuck me,” than to sit down with my boyfriend and seriously say, “This is what makes me feel good and this is what I think you should do for me.” It’s almost “too real”, ya know?
Well, guess what honey, it is real. But that’s what you need to do. And if you learn how to do it now you will have a more meaningful relationship later. You need to be real with each other. And if you can talk about sexuality, which is so intimate, then you can talk about anything.

Do women ever come to see you who feel guilty about violent fantasies they have, like rape fantasies?
No, it’s mainly men who come in with those issues, not women.

How do you make your sex drive higher?
Diet is very important. Dark chocolate: eat it, an ounce and a half a day, the darker the better. The orgasms are amazing. Visual stimulation helps to pick up drive too, or using a kegel exerciser to bring blood flow to the area. If you use that for twenty minutes a day that certainly will pick up drive and make your orgasms better. And exercise improves performance and makes orgasms better.

How many times a week should a couple have sex?
It depends on the couple and the drive of each person. Remember this: the person who has the lower drive controls the sex.

Don’t I know it!