It’s the end of the year and I thought it would be a good time to review some of the feedback you’ve given me throughout the past year.
My Web site easily gets thousands of e-mails each year, involving everything from thank you's to criticisms to pleasant surprises to far-from-P.C. comments. Here’s just a taste of how readers like you are reacting to sex ...
You’re able to lend insight to great sex debates.
Upon hearing the two sides to a story, some of you are more than willing to weigh in. In reading that researchers are debating just how early humans can orgasm, for example, a couple of you wanted to help clarify the situation:
“I started having orgasms when I was somewhere between 4 and 5. I was scooting down off the bed the first time it happened. I remember it so clearly. So, I kept doing it. Eventually, as most of us do, I learned that it was bad and evil and all that. So, it didn't happen again until I was about 11 or 12.”
“I had my first orgasm when I was 4 years old. I had climbed up a flagpole, and in order to stay at the top -- to keep from sliding down -- I had to continually "pump" myself up with my legs. Imagine my surprise when I felt an orgasm. I went home and told my parents about it at the dinner table. I remember them quickly changing the subject, so I got the idea that I should keep it to myself.”
A number of you have really been unlucky in love.
Unfortunately, dating and mating have been rough on too many people. I get a ton of heartbreaking e-mails from people frustrated with their lack of a partner, a sexless union, a sexual disorder, and feelings of loneliness. ... Yet occasionally, one situation stands out from the rest:
“I just married this woman I met on the Internet. Unfortunately, she is not the woman I thought. She has a lot of misdemeanor convictions in Texas for theft by check, bankruptcy, multiple aliases, two Social Security numbers and two dates of birth. What advice can men get to protect themselves? Why can't law enforcement do more to get these people off the street? One police department told me there is no law for being crazy.”
My advice: look before you leap. If someone looks to good to be true, she (or he) probably is.
Others of you are quite pleased with your sex lives.
I get a number of e-mails from people who are simply bursting with joy that they have thriving sex lives and are still hot for their partners. The recent “Sex with a Celebrity? In Your Dreams” piece beckoned this one:
“I'm not into fantasizing about celebrities anymore. I'm into my mate, who basically IS my fantasy girl on all levels. I'm one of the lucky ones I guess.”
You can confirm what research tells us about sex and relationships.
It’s great to hear that so many of you feel affirmed -- and can confirm -- scientific evidence about a number of sex topics. Sometimes, though, it’s disheartening to hear how pervasive a problem is, like this one on how teens perceive certain sex acts in maintaining their virginity: “My young adult daughter tells me that many of her friends don't believe anal intercourse is sex ... and they believe they are still virgins when they get married.”
At times, you disagree with the research.
Supported by the data or not, if something is totally opposite one’s experiences, some take offense, like this man who couldn’t disagree more with John Gottman’s research data in the article “Want to Get Her Hot ’n’ Bothered."
“What planet are you from???? The more housework I do the more is expected! And there is no sex................... except once every 6-8 weeks.”
A couple of you are particular about words describing sex.
Every now and then, somebody will write in with an edit, correct or not, with the latter being the case for this reader in his rather insensitive response to an article on erectile dysfunction (ED):
“You recently used the abbreviation ED in a column I read. ED is the abbreviation for eating disorder(s), which happen to be much more of a health risk than a man who experiences erectile dysfunction. Please stop using this abbreviation. One is a serious medical condition, the other a mere inconvenience.”
A number of you are foot fetishists.
These are just a couple of the reactions of relief I received after writing a column on foot fetishes:
“I will confess to you that I am in fact, a foot fetishist! I have had this erotic infatuation with the female foot. I have mostly been 'in the closet' with my foot fetish, but am deciding now to be more open about it. I am attracted to the whole female body; however, I find a beautiful female foot, with shapely arches, very soft soles, pretty toes and slim ankles to be so entrancing.”
Another person said:
“I have always liked feet and in particular the smell of a woman’s foot drives me crazy. I love pretty painted toes and high arches.”
A few of you consider yourselves unofficial sex researchers, on issues like ...
Why women orgasm: “My own extensive research (done in the '70s) reinforces the conclusion that women that successfully achieve orgasm do so reliably with partners that care.”
Why women want sex: “My wife and I just started in to a swingers’ club lifestyle about five months ago. I can tell you a lot of women have sex because they love it.”
Some of you would rather know about the sexpert’s sex life than anything.
“Are you married?”
“What kind of practice do you use to determine what’s good or not?”
“Curious. How many partners have you had?”
Answer: Some things will never go to print ...
Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."