The Naked Advice

Model & Writer Liz LaPoint answers your questions about dating, sex, and relationships

S.C. wrote: “So happy your back! I hope all has been well. My wife and I are relatively young (both 26), married for 6 years with two young children. We argue on occasion but for the most part we have a loving and trusting marriage… but the romance department isnt great. Basically, we will have sex once a week and it’s great, but it feels very routine, almost obligatory. It’s like, “Okay it’s the second friday night of the week, here we go”, utilizing one of the two basic positions we use with no or little foreplay and no romantic activity in between this bi-monthly sex. I almost miss the days before we got married and started having sex, where we were doing hand/mouth stuff spontaneously while watching tv, and I’m struggling with how to address it and bring it back. When we are doing the deed my wife is into it, but outside those “sessions” she doesn’t seem to be interested in much, giving or receiving. Help?”

Liz says: Almost every married couple with and without kids is hardcore relating to your issue right now. It’s so common, there are hundreds of books and websites littered with advice on “How To Get The Spark Back Into Your Marriage!”

In other words, don’t buy into the nonsense that it must mean there’s something wrong in the marriage if you two aren’t pawing each other every chance you get anymore. You haven’t written anything that indicates you’re interpreting it this way, but it’s worth mentioning anyway (if not for you, then for my readers).

Humans have a need for novelty. It’s one of the driving forces behind exploration, innovation, and our tendency to desire multiple lovers over our lifetime. Humans get bored easily, it’s one of the side effects of being more intelligent animals. That’s why you don’t see squirrels getting bored eating acorns all day and creating Acorn Rogout.

Plus, humans tend to appreciate more what we can’t easily have. Psychologically, we subconsciously become more likely to take for granted the people who are always around, and in a marriage that can affect your sex drive or attraction to your partner.

Not to mention, other priorities take the lead. When you first meet, if you don’t have kids or careers, you have more time for spontaneous sex. But as soon as we master “Adulting” we give priority to the assortment of new responsibilities, like office meetings and your kid’s dental appointments. With more on our plate, spontaneous sex and frequent sex tend to take a backseat.

The answer to all this isn’t that humans should never get married or have kids, of course. Here are my tips:

  1. Understand that this is typical/common. After the rush of first love wears off, couples enter into what experts call Companionate Love. It’s romantic love without the obsessive thinking of each other and hard-to-control lust. Can you imagine if love never evolved past this stage? We’d never get anything done in society. Recognizing that this is a healthy stage is good because people who don’t are more likely to cheat on their partner or resent their partner because they assume their lack of frequent sex is a sign of something wrong in the relationship.
  2. Become a more egalitarian couple. Studies show that in relationships where both mates equally help around the home with the kids and chores, they rate their sex lives as more satisfying and they have more sex on average. This is most likely because if one spouse is more burdened by chores and children, they’re more stressed and tired (which lowers sex drive) and more resentful of the spouse who’s not putting in their part.
  3. Try something new. This could be something you both have discussed trying outside the bedroom or inside the bedroom. Doing something fun and novel can create a renewed sense of excitement in the relationship, even when it’s not sexual. For example, have you guys talked about an interest in skydiving? Or learning French together? Or trying sex in the shower? Anything new that gets us out of a rut stimulates parts of the brain that can be invigorating to the relationship.

skydiving

 

 

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Frederick wrote: “Long acrylic and natural fingernails are a huge turn on for me. I’ve had this fetish since I was 6 and long nails can bump a female from an 8 to a 10. The problem is the girls I date or talk to don’t get their nails frequently done. How should I (if I should at all) talk them into getting their nails done more often? I don’t want to be pushy or demanding but it’s a major turn on and it enhances sex and the look of the person overall. Can you make a video about talking your partner into your nail fetish?”

Liz says: People often use the word “fetish” when they specify a turn-on, but an actual sexual fetish has a very particular meaning. Basically, if it’s something you can have sex without employing, either through fantasy or reality, then it’s not a fetish. If it’s simply something you prefer or find an added bonus that increases someone’s sex appeal, then it’s not a fetish. A sexual fetish is something that is necessary for you to employ in order for you to receive sexual gratification. In other words, if you can have sex and orgasm without imagining long fingernails, looking at them, or having a partner with them, then it’s not a fetish.

Whether or not it’s an actual fetish, it’s important enough to you that you’re writing me about it, so here goes: you need to only date women who already have long fingernails and enjoy getting frequent manicures. You don’t date people and then try to change them, you look for people who already possess the traits and behaviors that are important to you.

I don’t make YouTube videos for my channel anymore, but if I did I wouldn’t tell you how to talk your partner into turning themselves into someone they aren’t for your fantasies. If you were already married, however, that would be different. Some people make the mistake of getting married too young (they kept their fetish a secret) or they develop a sexual fantasy or kink during the marriage, and they need guidance in talking to their spouse about participating in their fantasies. But if you can prevent that issue in the first place, then you should by only dating women who love to have long fingernails.

But fashion trends come and go, and people like to change up their appearances, so what happens if you find this lady but one day she decides she’s sick of having long fingernails? They can be debilitating, after all. Have you ever tried wearing long fake nails? Completing simple, daily tasks can be frustrating. So when you find this partner, be honest with her about your love for her nails if you do indeed have a fetish (and be honest about what else you love about her), so if the day comes that she wants to change them maybe you two can compromise by having her only wearing the fake nails during sex or something like that. Having frequent, open, honest conversations is imperative for all couples if they want to last in the long run.

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Steve wrote: “Hi Liz, do you think it’s okay to ask a partner to do something in the bedroom that you know they don’t particularly enjoy? I love anal play (receiving), my wife…not so much. She will sometimes offer it on special occasions (birthday, anniversary) and I try to hold off outside of those times but every once in a while I will inexplicably badly crave this type of stimulation and well, I’ll ask. This has happened maybe 6 times in the two years I’ve admitted to liking this activity. Sometimes or mostly she’s declined but other times she responded with a reluctant “get some gloves”. I feel pretty guilty that I impose on her to do something not just that only pleases me but that I know she would rather not do. Is it wrong of me to request this of her on these rare occasions when I have trouble shaking the urge? Also, unrelatedly, do you watch The Handmaid’s Tale?”

Liz says: No, I haven’t watched The Handmaid’s Tale yet, but I eventually will because it sounds like a deep and interesting show that’s right up my alley.

I do think it’s okay to ask your spouse to occasionally fulfill a sexual desire they don’t enjoy, as long as they feel free to turn down your request without being made to feel guilty and you understand the answer might be no. To expect your partner to always fulfill your request and then treat them poorly for declining to satisfy your “urge” is abuse. Based on what you’ve written she does decline your request sometimes, and I doubt you treat her badly afterward because you mention feeling guilty for even asking her to participate.

Marriage (and all healthy long-term relationships) sometimes requires compromising by doing things you might not love doing but your partner does enjoy doing. For example, one spouse loves taking road trips through the West and his mate obliges even though he’d rather never take a road trip again, and that’s because his partner obliges his desire to see Michael Bublé in concert whenever he can. But, and this is a big BUT, if one day he tells his partner “I love you and want to make you happy, but I don’t think I can stomach another Michael Bublé concert. I think I’m totally sick of him”, in a healthy coupling he will be okay with this.

So if she decides one day she’s done obliging you in this department, will you be okay with that? And would she be okay with you satisfying yourself by using sex toys? I suggest talking with her about your concerns.

sexy couple on bed

 

 

 

J.P wrote:What’s your take on “bitchy/bratty” girls who know they are and enjoy it?”

Liz says: It depends on what behaviors you view as “bitchy”. Sometimes, when a woman is simply asserting herself or otherwise being direct, men will perceive her as rude when the very same behavior from a man would be perceived as strong or smart. In this case, my take is that these “girls” are wise in knowing when to stand up for themselves and when to speak plainly so as not to be misunderstood.

But if we’re talking about behaviors that would be deemed rude or abusive no matter how you slice it and who they’re coming from, and she is obviously aware of and enjoys being “bitchy”, I would say she might be extremely immature, or have a personality disorder, or a mental illness, or just going through a shitty time in her life and she’s taking it out on others. Whatever the case, the more interesting question to me is: why are some men more attracted to women who are “bitchy/bratty”, know they’re being masochistic/submissive, and enjoy it?

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S wrote: “Hi Liz, I’ve been seeing a colleague of mine lately. She’s amazing, beautiful and very sweet. But once I saw her feet and it really turned me off. It kind of changed my thoughts about her. How should I act?”

Liz says: If something about someone is a big turn-off, you can’t force yourself to look past it. You can’t force yourself to be more attracted to someone by trying to focus on their positive attributes, and trying to change them isn’t healthy, either.

I find your question interesting. Instead of asking “Does this make me shallow?” or “I’m going to stop seeing her, how do I handle it since she’s also a work colleague?”, you asked a very vague “How should I act?”

You should act like a caring person and decide whether you see a future with her or not. If not, let her down gently, don’t ghost on her or do anything else that might create more animosity than necessary with a coworker. You can say she’s lovely but you’re not feeling the chemistry and leave it at that.

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G.A. wrote: “Hi Liz, two years ago I told a girl I’ve known for five years that I liked her. She said that she sees me as a friend and she is not interested in me as I am for her. Since then, I had gotten over her and felt really free to hang out with other girls, which made her jealous. We decreased communication and it kind of boosted up my life again. Lately she’s talking to me again and even inviting me to hang out, but I’m trying not to act as that ‘friendzone-guy’ anymore. Honestly I still do not know what to do. Without her, my life boosted up but on the other hand I still have a feeling deep down there. Firstly, why would a girl get jealous over other girls while she should be happy for me as a ‘friend’? Second, what would you do in my position. Thank you very much!”

Liz says: The way I see it, there could be two reasons why she’s sending mixed messages. First, she could be actually developing feelings for you because of the Law of Contrast and Association, which asserts that someone will find you more attractive if they see you with other attractive people (more specifically she would find you more attractive when she sees you among attractive females). When you surround yourself as a single person with attractive people of the other sex, it increases your value as a mate (on a subconscious level). This isn’t true for everyone, but works for some people. She sees you with other girls and thinks ‘They must see something in him that’s sexy otherwise they wouldn’t date him/hang out with him’.

Or, she’s just jealous because she enjoyed your attention and your desire for her and seeing you move on makes her desire that attention from you again. In other words, she got a great ego boost from your crush on her and she would like to maintain that without actually being your girlfriend.

Whatever her reasons, she sounds toxic to me so I would suggest letting her go completely. You mentioned you became happier without her around so enjoy your new improved life without her. That’s what I would do!

guy surrounded by women

 

J.D. wrote: “I jerk off a lot to girls I know in real life. When I see them in real life I get nervous and get an erection within seconds. Do girls notice this?”

Liz says: Are you wearing tight pants when you see them?

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If you’re not wearing this kind of swag, they’re probably not seeing your swag, if you know what I mean. But even if they did sometimes, so what? From what I read and hear, it happens to all guys at some point or another, the erection that “pops” up at the most inopportune time.

If it happens more than you’re comfortable with, wear looser clothing and/or oversized shirts and quit worrying about it. Your anxiety that it might happen could be what’s causing it to happen.

 

Freddie wrote: “Is it ever a bad thing to be attached to someone who is so loving and good to me but has suicidal thoughts every now and then?”

Liz says: I think it’s crucial to know the difference between someone who has battled depression or other mental illnesses, sometimes culminating in suicidal ideation, and someone who has controlling/abusive tendencies and cries wolf about wanting to commit suicide in order to manipulate their partner into doing what they want.

The former has genuine emotional and mental health issues that can be difficult for their partner to handle but for the most part behaves lovingly and is worthy of empathy and understanding. The latter, however, is someone who is toxic and possibly even a psychopath.

Does this person scream suicide every time you’re about to do something they don’t want you to do? Do your emotional needs take a backseat to their needs too often? Do they create needless drama by overreacting to perceived slights? Or are they dealing with very real issues that make them feel hopeless about their future, but behave as a loving partner to you? Based on what you’ve said, it sounds like they are struggling with real problems and are otherwise a good partner to you.

These are great detailed lists of information regarding suicide:

uofmhealth.org

Learn to ACT

If your partner is struggling with very real emotional or mental health issues but they’re not seeking treatment, they can find it here: GoodTherapy.org

And in an emergency they can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

You should always take threats of suicide seriously, regardless of whether they are trying to manipulate you or really want to end their lives, but remember that it’s not your fault if someone attempts or commits suicide.

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A.M. wrote: “Hi Liz, I often hear that I’m ‘too nice’ to girls. Do girls really get turned off when a guy is too nice?”

Liz says: I’m so glad you asked! First, let’s go over the different interpretations of ‘nice’.

Most often, it’s the people pleaser who can’t say no, is easily manipulated, and doesn’t stand up for themselves whom we will call ‘too nice’. If you’re putting everyone else’s desires before your own and not owning your voice, you’ll come off as lacking confidence and instead of finding you sexy, girls will put you in the dreaded Friend Zone (dreaded only if you want more than friendship, of course). There are exceptions to everything, so some ladies will be more attracted to guys like this, but generally speaking most women are more attracted to guys with a strong sense of self.

Then there are the more balanced men, who know how to still be kind and considerate while also taking care of themselves. They know when to say no without feeling guilty and when to say yes because it feels good to be helpful to people. These guys have learned how to speak up when necessary without being bullies or overreacting. The only girls who will write these men off as ‘too nice’ are immature and/or damaged in a way that make only ‘bad boys’ appealing. Often, teen girls will be attracted to ‘bad boys’ and then when they grow up they become more attracted to well-adjusted, good guys. Sometimes it just takes life experience to appreciate quality people when you find them.

It’s also important to pay attention to the messenger: who is telling you that you’re ‘too nice to girls’? Is it the girls themselves, or your guy friends who might have bad ideas of how to treat women?

Keep in mind, most of us are turned off by anything that’s ‘too’, no matter how good it is. So there’s being kind and courteous, and there’s being a doormat. There’s being funny, and there’s being unable to be serious when you should be. There’s owning your opinions, and there’s being so rigid in your thinking that you don’t listen to varying points-of-view. It’s all about balance.

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Travis wrote: “Hi Liz! Do you have any advice for an adult virgin male on having sex for the first time? Also, should I tell the lady that I am a virgin beforehand?”

Liz says: How important is it to you that she knows it’s your first time?

A woman who just wants to get laid might change her mind about sleeping with you if she knows you’re a virgin because she might fear that you’ll get clingy and romanticize your first time. She will want to avoid feeling guilty being your first but not caring more about having a relationship with you. If you also don’t want more from her, then clearing that up right away will give her the peace of mind to enjoy the hook-up.

Some women won’t mind because they’ll enjoy “showing you the ropes”.

I don’t think most women would be upset to find out it was your first time after the fact. So it really is up to how comfortable you are sharing beforehand that you’re carrying the V card.

As far as tips for the first time go, I recommend letting things proceed naturally. Just go with your feelings and pay attention to her body language (and verbal language, of course) and usually both parties naturally sync up. Sometimes, when it’s the first time we stiffen up in response to our nervousness and that can make it awkward. But if you loosen up and relax, it will go more smoothly.

Speaking of loosening up, don’t use drugs or alcohol to relax. Alcohol and sex don’t usually mix well because alcohol can affect your erection, but more importantly if either of you are drinking then consent can be compromised. If she passes out during your encounter, walk away. This might seem like a no-brainer to you, but it’s worth mentioning because many guys will think it’s okay to proceed sexually and it isn’t okay, it is rape.

Also, being a good listener will get you far, because paying attention to her body language and verbal cues (“Slower…” or “That’s it, right there”, for example) shows you’re not a selfish guy. Caring about your partner’s pleasure as well as your own makes you a good lover. Ask her what she likes and doesn’t like, too, because if she tells you she hates her nipples being touched then you just put yourself miles ahead by preventing accidentally turning her off.

Good luck, Travis!

shy guy