Archive for November, 2007

Another take on Average Penis Size

An anonymous visitor submitted the following comment, in response to my answer to Average Penis Size, don't worry about it. I thought it raised some good points, and deserved a proper response:
5 to 7 inches average penis length

Dear Miss Sex Advice,

You missed the mark when you told the 11 year old not to worry about
his penis size. Sure, you told him the answer every text book says. But the thing is, at his age, it's the *only* think he worries about. And with all the viagra commercials and emails around, it's no wonder.

What you didn't tell him, was that even when he gets older, penis size doesn't matter one lick. The truth is: women don't care about the size of a penis. Bigger is not necessarily better no matter what the kids in the locker room say or the hundreds of emails in the email box.

Just thought I'd write in with that little tidbit.

While I fully agree that "bigger is not necessarily better," I'm afraid I can't get behind "women don't care about the size of a penis," and I feel I'd be doing the kid who originally asked a disservice to feed him one of the oldest and most misleading lines in the book. Like I said in the first question asked on the site, women do care about penis size. I am a woman, and I have known a lot of women in my life, and almost all of us care about penis size. We're like Golidlocks and the Three Bears: some are too big, some are too small … but the good news is that most of them are well within the range of "just right". And the even better news for you guys is that every woman has a different standard of too big, too small and just right, so there's plenty of options out there for everyone.

Sure, an 11 year old boy is going to worry about whether or not he's normal size no matter what anyone says … just like I worried about whether or not I'd ever grow tits when I was 11. That part is normal, and I think the best answer for a boy worrying about his penis size is the same as the best answer for a girl worrying about her breast size: You're too young to know what size it/they will be when you grow up, and no matter what size it/they end up being, it will work out fine. Some guys really like big tits, some guys prefer small ones, and some guys don't give a good goddamn. So it goes with women and penises: Some of us like 'em big, some of us prefer smaller ones, and some women really don't care.

Genital Piercing … where, why and other considerations

Q: With the variety of genital piercings, which piercings provide what stimulation for women and men, and to their partners.

prince albert piercing
Given the wide (and ever-increasing) variety of genital piercings available today, I'd have to be much more of an expert to give a detailed run-down on every single one. Instead, I've broken down popular genital piercings by general area, and given an overview of each category, followed by a link to more detailed information from one of the pioneers of body piercing in the US.

Female Genital Piercings

Clitoral Hood Piercings
Perhaps the most popular female genital piercing, a clitoral hood piercing can potentially hugely increase orgasmic response and sexual enjoyment for the wearer (but do little-to-nothing for the partner). These piercings go through the thin hood of skin over the clitoris, NOT through the clitoris itself. Probably the most common clitoral hood piercing is the VCH or Vertical Clitoral Hood, where the jewelry lies vertically (if the woman is lying on her back) underneath the hood, resting along the top of the clitoris itself, and piercing through the skin of the clitoral hood just above where it joins the base of the clitoris.
Labia Piercings
These piercings are predominantly decorative, although if they are placed alongside the vaginal opening, they can provide some additional stimulation for a male partner. Either the inner or outer labia can be pierced on most women, but inner labia piercings are more common. Labia piercings also create the possibility for kinky D/s play, where a "master" can bind his/her partner's vaginal opening with small chains, locks or other devices.
Clit Piercings
An actual piercing through the clitoris itself is almost always a bad idea. Many women do not have a large enough clitoris to safely get it pierced, and most piercers are not experienced enough with genital piercing to safely attempt such a risky placement. I once met a woman who'd recently removed her clitoris piercing … a knot of scar tissue had formed as the piercing healed, and she found herself in excruciating pain any time she came close to reaching orgasm. Removing the jewelry had not solved the problem. Now, I do not care if that only happens to 1 in 10,000 women who get a clitoris piercing. That is just NOT worth the risk to me. No siree.
Other Female Genital Piercings
There is also the "fourchette" piercing, which goes through the skin just below the vaginal opening, and some women get piercings through their perineum (the skin between the genitals and the anus). Most other female genital piercings depend on the "pinchability" of the skin in the area being pierced. If the skin is easily pinched away from the body, a piercing is more viable than if not. The stimulation provided by other piercings just depends on the sensitivity of the skin for the wearer, and the placement in relation to the vaginal opening for a male partner.

Male Genital Piercings

Penile Glans (Head) Piercings
Easily the most popular male genital piercing is the Prince Albert, where the ring enters the urethra, and the piercing exits just at the base of the underside of the glans. Other glans piercings include the ampallang, which goes horizontally through the entire head, either through or just above the urethra, and the dydoe, which goes through the ridge of the corona (at the top edge of the glans). Most penile head piercings provide a lot of extra stimulation for a female partner (too much stimulation for some women), as well as providing stimulation for the man (varying depending on the piercing location).
Penile Shaft Piercings
Penile shaft piercings are almost all surface piercings (through the skin), without actually puncturing the body of the shaft. A frenum piercing goes through the pinchable skin just below the underside of the head, and is most often worn with either a short barbell or a large ring that encircles the entire shaft just behind the head. A lorum piercing is similar, only done through the pinchable skin at the base of the penis, above the scrotum. Some men get a full "ladder" of frenum piercings along the entire underside of their penis. Basically, a man can be pierced anywhere on the the penis where the skin can be easily pinched away from the shaft itself. Some men also have surgical stainless or titanium ball bearings implanted under the skin of the shaft. Most penile shaft piercings provide a lot of stimulation for the partner (imagine using a very bumpy dildo), and the amount of stimulation for the man depends on how sensitive the skin is at the location of each piercing.
Scrotum Piercings
Probably the most solely decorative of the male genital piercings, scrotum piercings can be done almost anywhere on the scrotum, but are most commonly done either down the center (as an extension of a frenum ladder, in some cases), or off to the side, above the testicles (often in multiples). These don't provide much stimulation for either partner, unless the man wants to hang weights off them.
Other Male Genital Piercings
Any other genital piercings for a man are dependent again on the pinchability of the skin at the spot to be pierced. The guiche, a piercing just behind the scrotum, is quite popular, and some men extend their frenum ladders down the entire shaft, around the scrotum, and across the perineum. Foreskin piercings are a popular option for non-circumcised men, and provide a lot of stimulation for both partners. Piercings anywhere other than the head and shaft of the penis provide little-to-no stimulation for a female partner, and for the man it depends on the sensitivity of the skin at the piercing location.

For more detailed information on specific piercings, risks and other considerations, Elayne Angel's website has wonderfully detailed info on most genital piercings, with diagrams and photos of many of them. Click here for female genital piercing info, or here for male genital piercings. Her site also offers some referral information if you're interested in getting a genital piercing and aren't sure where to go to find a reputable piercer.

Average Penis Size: Don't worry about it!

Q: i am 11 years old. What is the average size for my penis?

5 to 7 inches average penis length
Seriously? Don't even worry about it yet. At your age, you're nowhere near done with puberty, and your whole body (including your penis) is going to change a lot between now and then. Give it another five or six years before you even start worrying about whether or not you're "normal" size.

Over half of adult men are between 5.5 and 6.5 inches in length, and almost all adult men are somewhere between 5 and 7 inches. But again, at your age, it will be years before you reach your adult size, so there's no reason to be fretting about it yet!

Advice for an Anal Virgin: Take it slow (and slippery)

Q: I'm an anal virgin, so to speak. Can you really lose muscle control if you have lots of anal sex? It would be embarrassing to have "accidents" if you had no control. Also, is it recommended to have an enema before you engage in it? The idea of a feces covered penis isn't too arousing to me.

anal sex for beginners
Both good questions … First off, if you're careful not to damage the anal sphincter muscle, you shouldn't experience any loss of bowel control no matter how much anal sex you have. Like any other muscle, the anal sphincter can be stretched and exercised to accommodate and compensate for quite a lot of activity. ;-) However, it is possible to damage the muscle if you're not taking reasonable precautions, and if the sphincter is damaged, it can lose a degree of function. So, to avoid that, just keep the following things in mind:

1. Lube is your friend. Oh yes, yes it is. You'll want to use a fairly thick lubricant that doesn't lose its "slip" too quickly (forget KY jelly … it's not fit to be used for anything but medical exams). If you're using a latex condom or latex toy, don't use an oil-based lubricant. If you're using any other sort of toy, make sure your lube is compatible with the toy material. You can test a small amount of your lube on the base of the toy, and see if there's a reaction (low grade silicone toys, for instance, can degrade when used with silicone lubricant). I personally use glycerin-based lube, but some women find glycerin can trigger yeast infections … ick! A lot of lube companies make sample-size packets, so try a few different brands out until you find one you like.

2. Take it slow. If you try to penetrate quickly, especially your first few times, it will be really uncomfortable. Stretching the sphincter muscle too fast will cause a truly unbearable burning sensation. This is actually why you should NOT use a "numbing" lube, even though they're commonly marketed for anal play … pain is a warning sign of potential muscle or tissue damage, so you definitely want to be fully aware of it.

I'd actually recommend buying a small dildo or butt plug, and trying it on yourself a few times before trying full anal penetration with your partner. Or, if your partner is game, practicing with a lubed-up finger is also a good way to "ease" into things, without risking pain or muscle damage … and it's a great enhancement to oral sex, for both male and female recipients!

3. Relax. Learning to relax the anal sphincter at will is the biggest thing to master at first. It can help if you "push" against the toy (or finger, or what have you) as it penetrates, because pushing encourages the sphincter muscle to open. Once a small toy or finger is no longer a challenge, relaxing enough to enjoy regular anal sex or larger anal toys shouldn't be any problem at all.

If you're still at all concerned about loss of muscle tone or control, the Kegel exercise is not only a great way for women to build greater vaginal muscle control, but it also tones your anal sphincter muscle as well. If you're not familiar with how to do a Kegel, just squeeze your pelvic muscles as though you're trying to "hold it" when you really have to pee … you'll notice your anus tightens along with everything else. A few Kegels a day, and any lingering worries about bowel control are history.

Now … as for enemas. Personally, I prefer using a small enema (also known as an anal douche) beforehand, for exactly the reason you mention. I also recommend using a condom for convenience as well as disease prevention. I even use condoms on my toys for anal play. Clean up afterward? Toss the condom, give everything a good once-over with a genital-friendly anti-bacterial cleaning wipe (Regular hand cleaning wipes might be too harsh for sensitive areas, and baby wipes smell like … well … baby wipes. Not too sexy, IMO.), and you're done. Unless you're playing in the shower (or you are turned on by the mess), I think "preventative hygiene" is definitely the way to go.

Learn to Talk Dirty in Bed … it's fun!

Q: During sex I usually stay quiet as a mouse- but I love when my partner talks dirty to me. I'm a little shy and I don't know what to say can you teach me or give me some hints?

how to talk dirty
Believe it or not, I completely understand where you're coming from. (Yeah, even an online know-it-all can be a little shy in real life!) While I've rarely been accused of being "quiet as a mouse," it's only fairly recently that I've felt comfortable saying anything coherent during sex …

… so I'd basically recommend working up to it step by step. Start with whatever level of noise you're comfortable with, and slowly work your way up from there:

• If you're really uncomfortable making any noise in bed, try starting with a little moaning. An "oooh" when your partner does something you like, an "MMmMMMmmmm" here and there, and maybe an "oh, Oh, OH!" when you're getting close to orgasm. If even that embarrasses you in front of your partner at first, practice while you masturbate. It'll start feeling more natural the more often you try it.

• If "Oh" isn't a problem for you, it's only a small step from there to short sentences … like "Oh GOD" or "oh YES" or "Oh god YES don't STOP", all of which are usually received pretty well. ;-)

• From there, work your way up to throwing in a naughty word here and there, "Oh YES, fuck me HARDER" or something along those lines. Once you've gotten to that stage, you should be getting the hang of it. Don't feel obligated to use words you're genuinely uncomfortable with … just add a "dirty" touch to whatever you already enjoy saying.

• If you're comfortable doing a bit of role-playing with your boyfriend, you might also try having him ask you naughty questions, and prompt you to answer by talking dirty to him …

Him: "You want me to fuck you?"
You: "Yes …" *blush*
Him: "Yes, what?"
You: "Yes … I want you to fuck me." *bluuush*

(Yeah, it looks kind of lame in print … if that doesn't do it for you though, you can of course improvise with whatever words and phrases he uses that really do turn you on!)

Dirty talk can be incredibly fun to listen to and to say, once you start getting used to it. If you already have the inclination to try it, I'm sure you'll be doing great in no time!