The Naked Advice

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

B.K. wrote: ” I’m a 34 year old virgin. I work 7 days a week, soon to be 80 hours a week. I’m over 415 lbs, and I have a very small penis. Extremely shy when liking someone at first sight and scared to approach. Help!”

Liz says: The larger a man is, the smaller his penis will appear compared to his body size, so your penis is probably average in size. Have you seen a doctor about managing your weight yet? That is where I would start. Take care of your health before starting to date.

While you’re exercising, learning about nutrition, and joining local groups to enjoy activities with like-minded people, you’ll not only get healthier and lose weight but you might also meet someone good for you! People who take care of themselves and live happy, active lives are more attractive to others. So what are you most interested in? Reading? Join a book club! Sign up to meetup.com, there are hundreds of local groups for almost anything you can think of: foreign language, basketball, travel, cooking, you name it! Figure out how to reduce your work hours, if possible, so you can live a more balanced life.

Meeting someone you happen to click with during a group activity will also help you with your shyness. It’s much easier to chat with someone and ask them out for a private date if you two are already having fun together! Just don’t make the mistake of treating the group like it’s a meat market, be mindful that some people join only because they’re interested in making friends and the shared activity. But as the weight comes off and you’re feeling more confident, you might notice shyness not being much of a problem anymore, anyway 😉

book club

 

 

 

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Steve wrote: “My wife has this fantasy of having sex at one of our parent’s houses, which really means mine since they have spare bedrooms. We were over for a weekend and she kept asking. The thought of doing it in the same house of my parents made me frankly want to vomit. I’m having a lot of trouble relating to this fantasy. I understand perhaps a voyeuristic aspect of doing it in a friend’s house, but like, family members??
Am I not normal in feeling so weird about this? Is this fantasy normal on her part?”

Liz says: Relax, you’re both normal!

I suspect that the fantasy comes from her teen years, when she and her then-boyfriend had to sneak around excitedly to find a secluded room to make out. Horny teens don’t have their own place so they resort to getting by with making out in their bedrooms, even if their parents are home, or in their cars, or the locker room at school. In other words, maybe she’s turned on at the thought of re-creating the thrill of trying to quietly get a quickie?

And it’s understandable that for you, the thought of any family being around and possibly hearing or interrupting you two is a boner-killer. You’re both normal!

You two are married, which means you should be able to talk to each other about intimate matters in depth. Have you asked her why she has this fantasy? Have you explained how it grosses you out? After discussing it, I’m sure you can come to a compromise. Maybe your suggestion of a friend’s house could excite her, too.

sexy couple on bed

 

Jaydee wrote: “My GF and I recently had a child (who we love and is, of course, amazing). But the stresses of new parenthood, not sleeping, not exercising, a court case, severe damage to our home and the lengthly repairs, money being so tight (she’s stay-at-home) and every other typical stuff has caused our relationship to stall. Hard.

Everything is so tense and we’re both so edgy. We’re in couples counseling and it is really doing wonders for our communication (at least for the 50 minute hour while we’re there) but we are just so agitated by one another and the resentment is festering.

This is where I’d like to hear your advice. I am just plain not able to perform sexually with her while I’m this frustrated. We’ve spoken about how we both could use more sex but I’m in such a funk I don’t even want to attempt it (and when I do I’m unable to “stay in the game”).

How should a young couple (and new parents) address a sex life that’s already dead as a doornail due to these situational tensions, depression and growing anger toward one another? Neither one of us want to call it quits with a newborn at home. We need a jumpstart badly!”

Liz says: What you’re going through is so common for new parents! With some couples, their sex life takes a nose dive because there’s nothing sexy about poopy diapers, sleep deprivation, and worrying about whether that cough your baby developed is Whooping Cough. For many others, added to those stressors is the fighting with each other and worrying about money. No wonder so many couples let their sex life take a back seat for a while!

And you know, there’s nothing wrong with that. When I first read your letter, my first thought was ‘he should slow down and listen to his body’, meaning it’s okay to take a step back and not pressure yourself to perform sexually for now. Work on your relationship and just let yourself be a dad. Oftentimes, the pressure or concern about being unable to perform sexually causes your attempts to get erect to backfire, so relax and let it be. Many couples have survived the occasional dry spell!

If you’re patient and focus on healing your relationship (and other issues) your dry spell will be over before you know it. But don’t let other forms of romantic affection dissipate, now more than ever you both need to show each other you still care. My husband was a very hands-on, plugged in father and partner to me, and that equal support helped us both stay connected and kept one of us from feeling overloaded by the enormous responsibility of parenting a baby. Are you both caring for your newborn equally? That might be something to be more mindful of in case the unequal distribution of responsibility is adding to the growing resentment between you two.

The experts recommend exercise for lowering blood pressure and fighting stress, but I understand how difficult it is to workout when you’re so sleep deprived! When I was pregnant, I remember thinking ‘I’m going to snap right back into shape by exercising regularly!‘ Oh, how naive I was! I had NO IDEA how often newborns wake up through the night, I was so sleep deprived I had NO energy for working out. I am now convinced those celebrity moms who get super fit right after having their babies either had a nanny who got up all night with their screaming infants or they ignored their crying babies so they could sleep (I hope not, yikes, CIO is neglectful abuse IMO). But try to schedule in time for a quick daily workout session, if you can. And if you have someone close that you both trust, ask them to watch your infant for a date night. Date nights can be super helpful for new parents to reconnect.

I’m glad to hear you don’t want to call it quits and that you’re both in couple’s counseling.  The three of you deserve to live in a peaceful, happy home.

silhouette of couple

 

 

Mark wrote: “I’m worried a partner would want to have a hallpass or a threesome, and I’m not okay with that at all. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong or they need to be able to have better sex that I could provide or something. Am I doing something wrong if I’ll never consent to anyone else in the bedroom?”

Liz says: It says a lot about how modern society views sex and relationships when I start getting questions like this. Are we so pessimistic about love and commitment that we now assume that our partners will absolutely desire being with others, before the relationship even begins? And this belief that it’s normal to want a “hall pass”, thus there must be something wrong with you for not wanting an open relationship?

Look, everyone is different. There are happy polyamorous relationships, happy open marriages, and happy committed couples. If you want to be with someone who values total commitment as you do, then make that a priority when dating. There’s nothing wrong with you for wanting only one partner and wanting your partner to only want you.

Couple-in-love-and-red-heart-in-hands

 

Adam wrote: “Are dating preferences discriminatory or are people getting all butthurt over nothing?”

Liz says: I wish you had given me more to go with, like what inspired you to ask. Nonetheless, your letter made me initially LOL.

I would like to know who all these people are who get “all butthurt” about dating preferences. So far what I’ve witnessed are racists who get all butthurt about interracial couples, overweight people who get all butthurt about people who prefer dating slimmer people, and transgender people who claim it’s “transphobic” for cis people to not date someone who’s trans. Does that about cover it for you too?

There’s someone out there for everyone, no matter what their physical “flaw” is, so while I understand feeling discouraged and hurt when most potential partners say they prefer dating taller men if you’re 5’4″, there are people who will find your height attractive and love you, “flaws” and all. In other words, the healthy response to feeling rejected isn’t to criticize women for being attracted to taller men, it’s to own your height in your online dating profile and accept that we all have our preferences (for the record, tall women often have a hard time dating, too).

The only non-physical dating preference I’ve seen spark some controversy is choosing to only date people with a good credit score. To critics, asking your date what their credit score is or how much debt they have is treating love and marriage like a business, and to supporters it’s just smart not to go down that path in the first place if someone isn’t responsible with money. I believe you shouldn’t marry someone whose beliefs about money and how they treat money differ greatly from yours, because that’s a major incompatibility that can lead to marital discord. “I want to save for a down payment on a house and he can’t stop buying needless shit!” However, financial wisdom can be taught and learned, so excluding a potential great partner based on their first date disclosure that they’re still paying off $3k in credit card debt isn’t the best idea, either.

Bottom line, we’re just attracted to what we’re attracted to, and people have the right to date whomever they want to date without having to answer to nosy, judgmental people.

tall woman, short man

 

 

Doug wrote: “When I’m out there trying to date, or just talking it up with someone at a bar, I don’t know how to ask them to go back and have sex! I just can’t seal the deal! I feel like I’m making it way more complicated/ awkward than it really is and that’s why they always end up sort of strolling away. Like if you were at a bar and chatting it up and would maybe go home with somebody that night, and we were talking and at some point I just go “So what are your plans for the rest of the night? You trying to hang out?” I just worry so much it’s gonna go so wrong when she says no that I can’t build up the courage to say it. I’m 23 and all my friends do it all the time and there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to. Every time I ask them and tell them that I don’t know how to pop that question, they just give me the vaguest answers, probably sick of me asking all the time. What do you think of that?”

Liz says: I suspect that your friends give you vague answers because they’re either lying or exaggerating about how often women go home with them.

I’ve never gone home with a strange guy I met at a bar (or anywhere else for that matter). I have, however, had a couple of times in which I met a guy in a bar or nightclub and hit it off well enough that he asked me out on an actual date for another night.

I would say that most women aren’t interested in a one-night stand. They’re out with their girlfriends to have fun, not get laid.

But sex on the first night meeting someone does happen sometimes. How? It happens very naturally, as a result of having great sexual chemistry. There’s no magical phrase, joke, or pick-up line that convinces a woman to go home with you. A woman is attracted to you sexually because of your personality, hygiene, and looks, not because you whispered that super-secret line your friends aren’t telling you works like a charm. This, by the way, might be the other reason your friends give you unsatisfactory answers: they can’t really explain it, you either have chemistry with someone or you don’t.

Plus, if a woman even gets a whiff that your goal is just to get her in bed, she will most often run for the hills. It’s not because women aren’t as horny as men, it’s because we are usually pickier about who we sleep with and we have our safety to worry about more than you guys do. That charming handsome guy in the bar asking you to go home with him could be a serial killer.

So how do you increase your chances of igniting sexual chemistry with a woman? Besides the obvious, like having clean breath and being a healthy weight, there are other things that make someone more appealing.

  1. Listen To Her Speak. A lot of guys talk too much about themselves in the mistaken belief that it makes them appear more confident, bragging about their jobs or cars or whatever they think women will find hot. It’s a huge turn-off when someone shows no interest in getting to know you. Ask her questions that inspire conversation, not just “What’s your name?” or “What do you do?” And then actually listen to her.
  2. Stand Up Straight. Slouching while you stand or sit tends to make one appear depressed, shy, unintelligent, low-energy, or uninterested (whether true or not). Men and women tend to be attracted most to youthful energy and looks, and slouching can remind others of elderly energy, even if you are only 23.
  3. Be Confident, Not Cocky. Too many guys confuse the two, acting arrogantly instead of confidently. Confidence says “I believe in myself, I like myself.” Arrogance says “I’m better than you. I’m not interested in you, I’m interested in you admiring me.”
  4. Look Directly Into Her Eyes. I don’t mean in a creepy way, staring at her from afar, I mean when she’s talking to you and when you talk to her. When we are engaged in conversation with someone but are too often glancing around the room, we give the impression of indifference, like we’re not all that into the person. Plus, studies show that gazing directly into someone’s eyes can produce feelings of passion.
  5. Smile! A lot of guys make the mistake of rarely smiling when they talk to someone they’re interested in because they think it shows too much interest and they want to appear more aloof, or because they think it makes them look confident. Instead it makes you appear humorless, boring, and cocky.

Oh and one more thing, don’t ask her “You trying to hang out?” You “hang out” with friends. It sounds immature, like you’re still in middle school and too scared to own your interest in her, especially when you put it on her by asking if she’s “trying” to get with you.  If you feel a rapport with her and want to ask her out, own it and outright say “I love talking to you, would you like to go out sometime?”

Good luck, Doug!

Couple Flirting At Bar

 

Patrick wrote: “I have always had fantasies of a MFM threesome with my wife. Can I really say I love my wife even if I can share her with another man?”

Liz says: That all depends on several factors.

Are you pressuring her to engage in sex acts with you and another man, even after she says she’s not interested?

Have you implied or outright said that if she doesn’t fulfill this fantasy you’ll leave her or cheat on her?

Do you show little interest in having sex with her on a regular basis, making her feel sexually inadequate?

Do you withhold physical affection, verbally abuse her, or anything else that shows how little you love and respect her?

A yes to any of the above would signify that you indeed do not love her, as none of the above are examples of loving behavior.

But if you both love and respect each other, living mostly as happy equals, and this is a sexual fantasy you’d love to try (or even she’d love to try) then no, it doesn’t mean you don’t love her. There are hundreds of happy couples who occasionally invite a 3rd sexual partner into their lives, and the experience doesn’t wreck their partnership. Simply being aroused at the sight (or thought) of your wife with another man doesn’t say anything about how much you love her, all of your behavior outside of that does.

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You’ve probably noticed a lot of women have tweeted and written as their Facebook status “Me too”, a collective awareness campaign to show people how common it is to be the victim of sexual assault or harassment. Sparked by the Harvey Weinstein allegations by too many women to count now, the national conversation on what constitutes sexual harassment, assault, and how to prevent it all has had famous people and the rest of us speaking out on everything from how women dress (so tired, that one) to the so-called Billy Graham Rule.

To those who don’t know, Christian Evangelicals (and some other religions) preach unmarried men and women should never be in a room alone together, no matter if you’re work colleagues or doctor and patient. This was made more known when Mike Pence made reference to following this rule, and once again it’s creeped into a discussion on whether or not it’s a reasonable stance to take in opposite sex relations. I think it’s one thing for a male doctor to take precautions against false claims by having a female nurse in the room with him and his patients, it’s another for everyone to live their entire life trying to avoid looking unfaithful to others or being “tempted”; the Billy Graham rule sees men as inherently wild animals who can’t control themselves, as if the inclination to assault is the norm. The rule insults good, thinking men.

Not to mention, segregation (by sex or race) doesn’t do anything to foster a progressive, healthy, peaceful society. It is no coincidence the cultures most segregated by sex are the least peaceful. How can men and women learn to understand each other, learn from each other, and respect each other if a culture maintains an in-group bias by gender, and females are continually viewed as either potential sexual objects or chaste mother figures? Women can’t be equal if what prevents them from getting promoted at work is the knowledge that the new VP would need to work closely side-by-side with the male president.

Some figures are asserting Harvey Weinstein could have avoided the mess he’s in right now if he’d followed the Billy Graham Rule. That’s nonsense; it implies that the women are lying or that he didn’t really want to abuse his power this way, he simply found himself tempted by these Jezebels and gave in because he’s a man, after all. Bullshit. Just fucking bullshit.

I can’t join the thousands of women who are sharing their stories of sexual harassment or assault by writing “Me too”. I’ve never been raped, sexually abused, or assaulted. I have, however, experienced very mild forms of harassment that belong in such a gray area as to have been so benign that to include them would be an insult to women who’ve suffered the real deal. Plus, I also think sharing those benign experiences would only serve to lessen the impact of the overall message.

Some are focusing this conversation on Hollywood’s notoriously misogynistic culture that has covered up for men like Harvey Weinstein, a studio executive who co-founded Miramax, since the beginning. I’m not, it’s a culture that permeates all industries because it’s our society that raises these boys to become men who abuse their power and don’t know the difference between normal flirtation and sexual harassment (or don’t care). If we maintain a focus on Hollywood, it only serves to send the message to the rest of America that a permissive attitude toward sexual harassment is something that mostly affects the entertainment industry, “over there, far way from us”.

These men aren’t “sex addicts” (which is considered a non-thing by most experts), they’re narcissists or men who’ve developed maladaptive ways of handling female rejection (please don’t mistake that for me implying they deserve pity). I think “I’m a sex addict” has become the go-to bullshit excuse in an attempt to garner sympathy and distance one’s self from responsibility.

I hope this national discussion enlightens those who might be unaware of how their behavior can be perceived and gives a voice to those who’ve been victimized.

For more information on this subject:

Flirting vs Sexual Harassment

Know Your Rights At Work: Workplace Sexual Harassment

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As many of you know, I’ve been writing a memoir for a few years now. It is an emotional process dwelling on the past when you’d rather live in the moment and focus on your future, but when you feel that you have a personal story that needs to be written out and shared with others, remembering the past becomes a daily necessity. And since I’d rather not let a few more years go by before it’s done, I realize I need to limit some other responsibilities for a bit.

In order to focus on completing my final revisions I’ve decided to take a couple of weeks off from answering letters. I appreciate that you trust me for advice on very personal matters and that sometimes your letters are time-sensitive, so please know that I will prioritize the most time-sensitive letters when I return to blogging on Monday, October 16th.

I will maintain my social media accounts, partly because updating Instagram or tweeting  can be done within a matter of minutes, but also so nobody worries I’m in a coma or dead 😉

Thank you so much for understanding!

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Mark wrote: “I was wondering if you had any thoughts on mental illness and sexuality. I’ve always felt very dominant in the bedroom, but there’s a psychological side of being dominant that’s become much harder for me as I’ve developed depression and issues with anxiety. Being submissive feels inauthentic, but it’s a little easier to breathe and it feels like someone’s lifting a little bit of the burden. But I’ve lost control a lot outside the bedroom and so I crave having it inside. What do you think I should do?”

Liz says: You don’t mention if you’ve sought treatment for your depression and anxiety. As far as what you should do, that would be the first step. Tell your primary care doctor about how you’ve been feeling and they can refer you to an appropriate doctor or therapist. This could be medical or psychological, and the right help can improve your depression and anxiety, and could lead to improving your sex life.

Even without major bumps in life, like suffering from depression, many of us notice over time our sexual desires evolve. Could it be possible that you’re just realizing neither extreme (Dominant or submissive) excites you or fits your needs anymore? It’s a sign of depression when the things that used to rev your neurons now barely light them up, so it’s likely that once the depression and anxiety have been treated you’ll find being dominant as enjoyable as you used to. However, there’s also the chance that your sexuality is simply changing.

As just one example, I knew someone who said he used to find lesbians having sex a huge turn-on and now he finds it “meh”. Maybe he overdosed on lesbian porn when he was in his twenties and his brain no longer finds it novel and exciting. While you don’t specify that you no longer find being either dominant or submissive arousing, I think what you’re saying about the discomfort and anxiety you feel about both roles could be another way in which our sexual desires change.

Without treating your anxiety and depression first, however, your sex life will probably continue to cause you more anxiety, so please seek help for those!

Depressed man portrait