Sexpertise: Real Answers to Real Questions About Sex

Sexpertise: Real Answers to Real Questions About Sex

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by Robin Sawyer

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ISBN-10: 1416953469

ISBN-13: 2901416953462

Pub. Date: 04/22/2008

Publisher: Gallery Books

"Let's get one thing very clear — there are no stupid questions in sex."

Ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, people have been curious about sex:

Do women really care about size?
Is there any truth to the blue balls rumor?
Could I get HIV from someone performing oral sex on me?
Why do guys like to watch


"Let's get one thing very clear — there are no stupid questions in sex."

Ever since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, people have been curious about sex:

Do women really care about size?
Is there any truth to the blue balls rumor?
Could I get HIV from someone performing oral sex on me?
Why do guys like to watch porn so much?

In Sexpertise, Dr. Robin Sawyer, who teaches human sexuality at the University of Maryland, takes the most-asked questions about sex from his enormously popular course and provides scientifically accurate yet honest, entertaining, and most of all, useful answers. From flirting and fetishes to staying power and STDs — no topic is too embarrassing or off-limits to explore. Whether read cover to cover or as a go-to guide when particular questions arise, Sexpertise delivers all the knowledge you need to separate the truth about sex from its myths and urban legends, and in turn become a true sexpert.

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Gallery Books
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Table of Contents




Part One: The Basics

The Physical Basics: From Tubes to Testes

Is man's largest sexual organ the penis?

How do humans compare to other primates with regard to the penis?

Does size matter?

Does girth matter?

Is it possible for a penis to be too large?

What is the normal size of a penis?

Is it true you can tell how big a man's penis is by the size of his shoes?

Is it true that certain races or ethnic groups have larger penises?

Does penis circumcision make any difference during sex?

OK, you say it doesn't matter, but do women prefer circumcised penises?

Does all semen taste the same?

Is semen high in calories?

Is semen high in protein?

Is it true that swallowing semen reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers?

What's the hymen and what does it do?

Can you tell if a woman is a virgin?

What is the clitoris, and how will I know it when I see it?

Are most women shaving their pubic hair these days?

Do women prefer men to shave too?

Does the anus have a G-spot?

Does everyone masturbate?

Why do people masturbate?

Is it possible to masturbate too much?

Are men who masturbate more likely to prematurely ejaculate?

What's all this about prostate cancer and can I do anything to prevent it?

If I have a vasectomy, will I ejaculate anything?

My boyfriend's penis seems to curve to one side when he's hard. Is that weird?

Is it normal that my girlfriend's breasts are different sizes?

Is there any truth to the blue balls rumor, or is this an urban legend?

Do women experience the same "blue balls" feeling?

Does too much testicular heat decrease sperm production?

Can smoking marijuana affect a man's sperm production?

Is it true that the average man's sperm count has decreased over the past fifty years?

Can sex count as exercise or be used for any type of athletic training?

Is sex good for your physical health?

Can sex help my mental health?

The Communication Basics: Let's Hook Up or Whatever

Has sex changed our vocabulary?

Why are we so uncomfortable with sex-related words and language?

What does "hooking up" mean?

I'd like some sex. Is simply asking someone out of the question?

Is oral sex sex?

If I haven't had sex for a year, can I regain my virginity?

Do men/women like virgins?

Why do some men have so much trouble taking enough direction on how to give a woman an orgasm?

My boyfriend has an ex-girlfriend who calls him all the time. They sometimes meet for lunch, but he insists there's nothing going on — they're just good friends. What do you think?

I have a guy friend who stops by once or twice a week and we have sex, no strings attached. I'm beginning to have feelings for the guy — what's the chance we could have a relationship?

Is there an easy way to ask someone how many partners they've had?

What's the average number of sexual partners for men and women?

Why do some men insist on pushing your head down onto their crotch when you're making out? Couldn't they be more subtle?

How do I persuade my girlfriend to agree to a threesome?

What should I tell her?

How can I talk about improving my girlfriend's sexual technique without hurting her feelings?

What exactly is date rape and how common is it?

Are men generally the ones who end relationships?

I have a history of cheating on my boyfriends. Should I tell my new partner about my past?

Dumping by phone...fax...texting...IM...what's the protocol?

Has technology influenced the way we communicate about sex?

Do people seriously hook up with other people they meet online?

Although I have a girlfriend, I've been flirting by text message with another woman. Does this count as cheating?

Is there any difference between the sexes when it comes to text messaging?

Does messaging help men avoid rejection?

A guy I'm seeing basically refuses to talk to me on the phone. When I call him he constantly makes excuses to hang up, then texts me immediately afterward and tries to have a conversation. Is this typical, because it's really annoying me!?

Call the morning after? Or text?

Should I turn off my cell phone during sex?

Part Two: Everything You Really Should Know About Sex

Before Sex, During Sex, and After Sex

Before Sex

Is there a time in the menstrual cycle when women are more receptive to having sex?

When do women ovulate and why should we care?

Negotiating sex: as a guy, do I need my lawyer?

Are oysters really aphrodisiacs?

What's a true aphrodisiac?

Alcohol has to be an aphrodisiac, right?

I hear that Viagra increases your sex drive. Is that true?

Why can't men understand that foreplay is just as, if not more, important than sex itself?

How effective are condoms at preventing sexually transmitted infections?

When I put on a condom it feels really tight and I lose my erection. What's going on?

How do you ask someone if they've had an HIV test?

After about twenty minutes of performing oral sex on my partner, my jaw starts to ache and I can't feel my face...what should I do?

How do I transition out of oral sex with my boyfriend without making it obvious that I don't like it?

Could having sex before an important game hurt my athletic performance?

Why do guys like to watch porn so much?

My boyfriend and I watch X-rated movies a lot when we have sex, and we both get really turned on. I'm just getting a little worried because we never seem to have sex without watching the movies. Do you think it's a problem?

Contraception: Pregnancy Is Avoidable

The perfect method of contraception?

So how do I go about selecting a method?

What's the most commonly used method of contraception for twenty and thirty-year-olds?

Do many people actually have sex without using contraception?

Why don't people use contraception?

When's the best time to talk with a partner about contraception?

I hate wearing condoms; is there anything else I could do instead?

My boyfriend can't wear condoms, he bursts them. What can he do?

How do you know if a condom is good before you use it?

Are those condoms with spermicide better than the regular types at protecting against pregnancy or STIs?

Are female condoms any good?

Is the sponge available again?

Is Norplant still available?

Does Implanon have any side effects?

Is there a waiting period before oral contraception — the pill — takes effect?

If you've been on the pill for fi ve years, how long does it take for your body to become "regular" again?

If you're on the pill for several years, will it take longer to get pregnant after you stop taking it?

Do you really have to take the pill at the same time every day?

Can the pill help to regulate your periods?

Can birth control pills be compromised by taking antibiotics?

Can the pill reduce your sex drive?

Does the pill have any positive side effects?

When are male contraceptive pills going to be available?

What's that new pill where you get fewer periods?

Is there a pill where you get no periods at all?

What's up with those newer devices, the patch and the ring?

Is "doubling up" on contraception with the pill and the condom an effective method?

What is emergency contraception and how does it work?

How good is Depo-Provera, commonly referred to as "the shot"?

During Sex

As a guy, what do I do to the clitoris when I find it?

That's a very large wet spot, so do women really ejaculate? And why?

Can men have multiple orgasms?

If someone goes down on me, do I have to return the favor?

Some girls I'm with have a strong vaginal smell. How do I deal with this?

After performing oral sex, my girlfriend wants to kiss me and that grosses me out. Am I being unreasonable not wanting my own stuff in my mouth?

Will a woman's first time be painful?

Lights on or lights off?

After sex, I usually use a vibrator to finish up. Do you think my boyfriend minds?

I can't seem to ever get enough clitoral stimulation from either a partner or a vibrator. Can you suggest an alternative?

In order to become aroused, I often feel the need to have a sexual fantasy before having sex with my boyfriend, and sometimes during sex too. Is this bad?

It wasn't a fart, I swear — it was a queef!

Whatever the hell you call it, should I just ignore it?

Why does my boyfriend keep yelling nasty things while we're doing it?

Do a lot of women really fake orgasms?

But why do women fake it?

So, is there an alternative to faking it?

Can a man tell when a woman is faking it?

How many times can a person orgasm in an hour?

Is there an easy way to tell your partner that what he/she's doing isn't working for you?

What sexual position tends to be the most satisfying for women?

Which positions do men and women seem to prefer?

I can only orgasm when I'm on top of my boyfriend. Any tips for coming when I'm on the bottom?

What's up with guys wanting to rodeo all the time?

Why do so many guys seem to be into anal sex?

Does it mean anything if a guy doesn't kiss you during sex?

Is it OK to have sex with a woman while she's menstruating?

If I have sex with my girlfriend during her period and we don't use contraception, can she get pregnant?

If you have sex from behind, is there a better chance you'll have a boy?

How long do the average male and female orgasms last?

Why do some women make so much noise during sex, and others hardly any?

After Sex

Why do most guys seem to want to "flee the scene" three seconds after ejaculation?

If I don't call a girl after having sex, will she think I've just used her or is it cool?

How likely is it that I'd get pregnant if we didn't use contraception?

What if I don't lose my hard-on after having sex? How quickly should it go away?

Why is it that sometimes after sex I can get an erection almost immediately and go again, while at other times I'm done for the night?

What determines the length of the refractory period?

Why do only men have the refractory period?

My boyfriend is very affectionate with me and tells me that he loves me, but after we've had sex it's like he's another person and he barely speaks to me. What's up with that?

What's up with the morning-after pill and does it really work?

So how does ECP actually work?

Couldn't I just use ECP as my method of contraception when I'm having sex?

Where can you get emergency contraceptive pills? Why do people say women should urinate immediately after sex?

Part Three: The Other Stuff

It's Just a Little Rash: Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Who's at greater risk for STIs, men or women?

How soon will I get symptoms after someone gives me a sexually transmitted infection?

How can you tell if someone has an infection?

So how do you prevent STIs?

So really, how do you prevent STIs?

Can you get more than one STI at a time?

Can you get these infections orally?

Is it possible to get an STI without having sex?

So you can't get an STI off a toilet seat?

How about the incubation periods of infections?

What are the most common STIs that young adults are likely to get?

So what's the deal with the virus that causes genital warts?

Is it serious?

The Most Common STIs

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) — and Genital Warts

What about the men?

How about immunization against HPV?

Won't this encourage more young girls to have more sex?


Can lesbians get chlamydia?



HSV-1 versus HSV-2

Going on a field trip?

How do you test for herpes?


Yeast infection (moniliasis, candidiasis)


Pelvic Infl ammatory Disease (PID)

How can I prevent PID?

The Plague of the Century: HIV/AIDS

What's the difference between HIV and AIDS?

Is AIDS no longer a gay disease?

Wasn't the high number of AIDS cases found in the homosexual population due to the fact that that type of sex is just plain wrong and immoral?

Is it really true that lesbians don't get AIDS?

Does anal sex cause AIDS?

Which sexual behaviors are the highest risk for passing on HIV?

Why is anal sex the highest sexual risk? Is it because it's so freaky?

Can I get infected with HIV by sharing a swimming pool or hot tub?

Can I get HIV from someone performing oral sex on me?

Can I get HIV from performing oral sex on another person?

Can you get HIV from someone who doesn't have any symptoms?

Can HIV be transmitted from other animals to humans?

Can you get HIV from kissing?

How soon after sex should I get an HIV test?

Where can I get tested and will the testing be anonymous?

What type of tests are there for HIV?

Will I have to wait long for the test results?

Who really needs to get a test for HIV?

Come straight men really need to worry about HIV/AIDS? Wouldn't you have to be some type of man-whore to get infected?

What's my risk for HIV/AIDS if I've only had a couple of sexual partners?

Gay, Bi, or Hopelessly Confused: Alternate Sexual Expression

Does anyone know what causes someone to be gay?

Are humans the only species to have same-gender sexual contact?

Is there any difference between sexual orientation and sexual preference?

Is 10 percent of the population really gay?

Is it fair to let gay people have or raise kids? Won't they raise them to be gay too?

I had lots of boyfriends in high school, but then I had sex with another woman in my freshman year of college. Does that mean I'm a lesbian?

Some people feel that most bisexuals are really gay but are reluctant to come out. What's your take?

What about gay sex and that male prison thing?

My fiancée just admitted to me that she had a same-gender sexual experience about a year before we hooked up. Should I be concerned that she's a lesbian and we shouldn't get married?

Transvestites are pretty much all gay, aren't they?

Does anyone really have "gaydar"? Does it work?

How come gays are so into anal sex?

I Seem to Have a Little Problem: Sexual Dysfunction

What's the most common sexual dysfunction in men?

How is premature ejaculation treated?

Are there things men can do to last longer?

What's the most common sexual dysfunction in younger women?

What percentage of women are unable to have an orgasm?

What are some of the reasons for inorgasmia?

Do you think not being able to have an orgasm might be genetic?

If a woman is unable to orgasm through penis-vagina sex, should she consider this a sexual dysfunction?

My girlfriend swears she doesn't mind not having an orgasm every time we have sex. Do you think she really means that or is she just being a martyr?

What's the treatment for female orgasmic disorder?

When I masturbate or use a vibrator, the orgasms I experience seem so much more intense than when I have sex with my boyfriend. I feel bad about this and don't feel I can tell him. How can I achieve the same level of satisfaction with him?

After losing my virginity, how long before I'm comfortable in bed and able to orgasm?

Do young men really experience erectile dysfunction or is that just a story made up by old guys to make them feel better about their problem?

Are some younger males using Viagra recreationally?

Did I hear there was an injection you could have to get an erection?

What are the possible causes of a guy not ejaculating during sex with a girl he is comfortable with and finds attractive?

Sometimes I'm too tired for sex and my boyfriend takes it personally. Do you think there's something wrong with me, and is there some way I can let him know it's nothing to do with him?

My girlfriend sometimes doesn't lubricate very much and so sex can be painful. Is this normal, and what can we do?

He Wants to Put What Where? Atypical Sexual Behavior

Is it true that some people actually have sex with animals?

I heard someone talking about "golden showers." What is that?

How about coprophilia?

Some guy rubbed up against me on the subway last week. Is there a name for that?

My girlfriend flashed her boobs at Mardi Gras last year. I know she was pretty drunk, but do you think she might have a problem?

Is it even possible for women to be true exhibitionists?

What about a guy who's a Peeping Tom? What's that called?

What is sadomasochism?

Tied up in knots...what's the deal with that?

What is klismaphilia?

What is mysophilia?

What is retifism?

What is scoptophilia?

What is necrophilia?

What's autoerotic asphyxiation (AEA), and is it really dangerous?

Is sexual addiction for real or is that just a bunch of folks who really, really like sex?

Is There Sex in My Future? Sexuality and Aging

Are you serious that people in their fifties and sixties are having megasex?

Is it really OK to be having sex at that age?

What's sex like for an old person?

How about single, elderly people living in group homes. Do they have sex?

Use it or lose it?

Do women have problems reaching orgasm when they're older?

Can men still get erections later in life?

Do drugs like Viagra and Cialis really work?

How soon after taking one of these drugs do you get an erection?

How about that refractory period thing? Will that be longer?

What changes with age in a woman's sexual response?

What's the main reason for an older person not to have sex? When do people stop being interested in sex?

Part Four: Our Sexual History

Early Influences

Why are so many people freaked out about sex today?

What about the idea that women are less interested in sex?

More Recent Sexual Influences in America

How did World War II influence sexual mores?

Kinsey, Masters and Johnson — who were these guys?

Were the "swinging sixties" really a sexual revolution?

Do presidents like sex?

How did this whole abstinence-only-until-marriage education thing get started?

So, does abstinence-only-until-marriage education actually work?

This may sound like a dumb question, but what is abstinence?

So Where Do We Go from Here? A Note to the Reader Acknowledgments

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