The Naked Advice

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

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.

man giving lady flowers

 

 

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

Todd wrote: “I have two fetishes: a woman wearing pantyhose headscissors me, and I love to have a woman wearing pantyhose step on my throat. My question is how can I present these fetishes to a woman and make them sound less dangerous because I like to pass out from both of them. Please let me know how to do this.”

Liz says: There is no way to “make them sound less dangerous”, nor would I give suggestions on how to manipulate a sex partner into participating in something dangerous. Cutting off your airways is DANGEROUS and should never be encouraged.

Hundreds of people die every year from auto-erotic asphyxiation and/or choking themselves to get “high”. Restricting oxygen to the brain can cause brain damage as well as death. It is not something to play with, sexually or otherwise.

This is risky for the woman who does this to you, as well. What if you die while she’s stepping on your throat? No, just no, don’t do it. It’s simply not worth the risks.

So what can you do if these fantasies turn you on? You can fantasize about them. Not everything that turns us on should be lived out in real life. If this really is a paraphilia (not just something you like to occasionally do) and you can’t imagine sex without this, please consider finding someone to talk to who can help you (like psychotherapist Rob Peach, click here to visit his website).

Your sex partner can wear pantyhose and still be dominating without risking your life. Find a happy sexual alternative to possible death, it’s a win-win!

black panthose

 

Aaron wrote: “Hi Liz, happy to see you’re back. I have a girlfriend who is very willing to perform oral on me and does so nearly everyday. She even lets me cum anywhere I want (mouth, breasts, face, etc). Anyway she loves to play with my balls while she does it and it always makes me nervous since that is such a sensitive area. Is there any way I can get her to stop doing that part without offending her and not risk the frequency of the blowjobs? Or should I just shut up and be grateful to have a woman that’s so generous?”

Liz says: The only way to have the sex life you want with your partner is to be honest about what you like. That doesn’t mean you need to be bluntly rude about it, of course, but a simple direction when it happens is usually effective.

For example, instead of this: “OMG I can’t stand it when you touch my balls.”

Try this: “I love it more when you do ___.” Or even: “My balls are so sensitive that I enjoy it more when you don’t play with them, but I’ve noticed you do it often and I’ve been afraid to say something.”

A reasonable, healthy response to sexual feedback is to adjust accordingly. If your lover responds with derision, annoyance, defensiveness, or sulking behavior then that person is not mature enough for sex or a serious relationship.

A fun, healthy sex life requires both parties to be considerate of their partner’s needs, and there needs to be a give-and-take. Most often, our sex partners want to make us happy and want us to see them as great sex partners, so with polite but direct feedback they will happily change.

couple-talking

D.A. wrote: “Minor relationship quarrel here. My girlfriend is of the opinion that when someone tells her something and asks her not to share it with anybody it is understood that she will be telling me. So often am I hearing about someone’s bedwetting or infidelity or criminal history that I tend to interrupt her and suggest this person may not want me to know these things.

She believes this to be how it works, that when you tell somebody something in confidence you should already assume they are going to tell their significant other.

I, however, disagree and informed her that when a friend, family member or co-worker asks me to keep a secret I keep the secret even from her.

She thinks I’m being unrealistic, I think she’s being out of line. What say you?”

Liz says: A friend, family member, or coworker should assume their story/secret will be shared with their confidante’s mate, unless they specifically ask them not to tell “even your husband.” Here’s why.

When two people get married or have a long-term relationship, having honest, open conversations is crucial to solidifying intimacy. They shouldn’t have secrets between each other. One person holding a secret from the other (even someone else’s secret) can cause a rift. “Why didn’t you tell me Daisy was having suicidal thoughts? If I’d known I wouldn’t have suggested she read that book.” Next thing you know, your mate feels as if you think they aren’t trustworthy and you’re fighting about someone else’s problems.

Generally speaking, there is a silent agreement amongst most people that a couple is a unit, that what you tell one will be shared with the other. This is because your mate is usually your closest confidante. Your significant other is usually the person with whom you share your deepest thoughts and feelings and with whom you discuss everything.

If they are truly concerned with preventing their story/secret from traveling, then they can choose to not share it with you in the first place or they can ask that you not tell your partner. “Can you do me a favor and not tell Marc? Jon is his coworker and I wouldn’t want Marc to start treating Jon differently, ya know?” If there’s a really important reason to keep it from your significant other and it’s something that most likely wouldn’t upset them to discover you knew first, then that can be an exception to the unwritten rule.

So that’s what I say on the matter 😉

secretcouple

 

David wrote: “You seem to dispel a lot of myths about sex that constrain people. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the alpha/beta binary and, to a lesser extent, the dom/sub binary. This is specifically all within the bedroom.

I guess the biggest concern about alpha/beta is whether being conscientious, not being in the best shape or having the best gentials, and maybe having mental health issues that can mess with the pace of sex all force you into a particular role or script, or lower a man in the eyes of women in the bedroom. I’m not trying to paint women with one brush but I definitely feel like the pressure is on me in the bedroom and I don’t know if it shouldn’t be or I’m just inadequate. I wouldn’t want my partner to be less demanding if that means she would be less attracted or interested in me.

It seems like in every sexual situation someone needs to be holding the reins and someone else needs to be following. Personally I get really stressed if I’m running the show, but I still enjoy it a lot more. I’m just worried that because I have trouble being dominant that somehow I just “am” a sub. I don’t like giving people too much power over me anyway, I’ve dealt with abuse in the past.”

Liz says: When you say “It seems like in every sexual situation someone needs to be holding the reins and someone else needs to be following“, I wonder if you’re getting this impression from watching porn. Porn videos are about fantasy, not reality. In reality, two people who are attracted to each other usually participate in a “dance”, mutually learning what the other likes while having sex, and often there isn’t a “role” that one takes. Both partners simply respond to their feelings and have sex with each other. No bondage/ticklers/domination required. But porn videos are about illustrating fantasies, so most often in porn there’s a submissive player and the dominating players, for example, the jailbird and the prison guard.

Stop worrying about playing a role in your sexual encounters. Be yourself, but also maintain an open dialogue with your sex partner about your desires and concerns. One partner being dominant over the other is not necessary or expected by most people. However, I think some women say they want a man who “knows what he wants” and “takes charge” but what men hear is “Women want guys who will tell them what to do and never question anything”, which is then confused with “Women only want sex partners who will be dominant and spank them during sex”. What those women are actually saying is they want men who aren’t immature and wishy-washy about their feelings, they want a man who will ask them out instead of being flaky or worried too much about it. They don’t want time-wasters, they want go-getters. This is different from taking on a dominant role in the bedroom, what the ladies are usually referring to is a man’s behavior outside of the bedroom.

Of course, all women are different. Some women, like the aforementioned ones, prefer “Alpha” males, while others are more drawn to “Beta” dudes because they find their introversion or shyness sweet and sexy. Don’t mold yourself after a role you think most women want, own who you are and you’ll attract the right ladies.

You mentioned “mental health issues that mess with the pacing of sex” but don’t specify if you’ve been diagnosed with anything. Perhaps you’re just referring to lacking confidence, but if it’s something more serious then maybe you should take time for yourself and relax/work on yourself/heal/etc. Instead of worrying about women and sex, live life and pursue your passions/hobbies/education/etc and it will all sort itself out in time, especially if you’re getting professional help. The fact that you also mentioned having dealt with abuse in the past means you probably should be receiving professional help if you aren’t already.

We all sometimes just need to be alone for a while instead of pursuing casual hook-ups or serious relationships, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Take care of yourself so you can be the best version of you possible when the right woman comes along 🙂

happy couple

 

Steve wrote: “Hey Liz, hope all is well. I have a question that seems rather embarrassing but here goes. I have struggled with eating issues for ten years, going through behaviors like vomiting, extreme dieting, exercising constantly, etc. I’m not able to afford therapy but recently I’ve made some progress limiting this behavior. However, I’ve gained weight and am extremely uncomfortable with my body and hate taking my shirt off, even during sex. This drives my wife pretty crazy, where she will give me a hard time about it basically every time (which isn’t particularly often probably, compared to other couples in their early twenties). Anyway, I want to give my wife what she wants but one time I tried and I was so uncomfortable I couldn’t stay aroused. Any thoughts?”

worried-couple-2

Liz says: Disordered eating habits are on the rise with males, so you’re not as alone as you might think. The societal pressure to be a perfect Adonis is now equal to what females endured for decades. For example, there was a time that to make it as a male supermodel you just needed to be tall and slim. Now, it seems guys need to have 8-pack abs and biceps that could rip a phone book in two.

There’s nothing wrong with working to be fit and healthy. The problem is that too often our new healthy habits spiral out of control and become unhealthy habits. The key is balance, of course, but that can be easier said than done sometimes.

Private therapy isn’t the only option. There are many great online sources for help, like the National Eating Disorders Association and The Association for Males with Eating Disorders.

Your wife should stop giving you a “hard time”. Criticism and impatience usually only serve to make you feel worse and build a wall between you as a couple. She needs to learn more about what drives these patterns you engage in and how she can be a supportive mate in your quest to overcome this. Have her visit this website: the Eating Recovery Center’s Family Support Guidelines.

You state that you “want to give my wife what she wants”, but what do you want? Do you want to abstain from sex or do you want her to accept that you’ll be wearing your shirt while you do? Try to have a deeply honest conversation on what you both want. That’s the only way things can improve. Couples who can’t talk to each other don’t usually stay together.

And keep in mind this is all temporary; with help and consistent effort your eating disorder can be a part of your past and you can be happy with your body. There are thousands of people who’ve shed their negative self-image and gotten healthy, you can be one of them. A lot of people without eating disorders can relate to what you’re feeling, too. Simply gaining or losing a few pounds can sometimes make us self-conscious during sex with a partner. We should all love ourselves and accept that *nobody* has a perfect body, not even supermodels. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug wrote: “I’m just about 23 and in college. I have had a good number of flings and stuff throughout college, but now that I am getting a little older I want to find something more real. But I have a problem that seems to be persisting. In high school, I wouldn’t get much action, still had things here and there but I always longed for a relationship and I just felt way more emotion in general. And then, freshman year comes around of college and being young and naive, I met this one girl who I clicked with so freakin well, we’d hang out all the time. She was one of my best friends as well as my biggest crush ever, I think I literally loved this person. Again, this was freshman year of college, spent the whole year kind of going after her, but long story short, there were complications on her side and she “let me down easy” and I was devastated emotionally. It took so long to get away from the sadness.

I then joined a fraternity and had a whole new family of friends and met other girls and had flings with quite a few. And here is my question: from that event freshman year, I’ve met wonderful women who’ve shown me their affection (I could have had everything I wanted with one of them specifically), but every time I try to date someone and feel my self even getting the slightest bit closer, I don’t know what happens, I freak out and search for some reason to end the whole thing and I look like the biggest asshole on the planet. I don’t know, I haven’t felt much compassion or love with anyone in the past 3 years, and I just feel dull like it’s died and those feelings won’t come back. I don’t really know what to do, I’ve debated just booking like an hour with a counselor of some sort just to explain it out and hear the advice they have to say. What do you think?”

Liz says: Rejection hurts so much that we can often respond in ways that are extreme in an effort to prevent ever feeling that pain again.

But as you’re learning, beating them to it doesn’t feel good either.

Most of us have a fear of being found inadequate, unappealing, or unattractive by those we desire. Some will avoid intimacy from developing because it feels “safe” never being in a position to be judged and rejected. Others will continue dating after healing from their heartbreak by dusting themselves off, learning from their mistakes, making personal changes, and/or deciding that person was just wrong for them and they did you a favor by letting you go.

Keep this in mind: rejection points you in the direction of where you belong. This is true for everything in life. Rejected from that job? That just means they saved you from wasting your time working someplace you may not have been suited for. Rejected from a woman? Great, that just means you’re closer to finding a woman who’s right for you. Once you start seeing rejection as saving you from wasting your time and pointing you in the right direction, it can be like an ointment on a bee sting.

Plus, if you get honest feedback for why you were rejected you can make improvements that help you evolve into the person you want to be (within reason, of course). For example, many successful authors say they were rejected by publishers several times before their manuscripts were accepted. The publishing houses would send feedback, the authors would consider their suggestions and make certain changes, and then eventually they found success! Now imagine if they did what you’re doing in your relationships. If they had taken the first rejection letter so personally that they told themselves they must be terribly inadequate writers, then abandoned writing altogether (like you’re abandoning intimacy), they wouldn’t be living their dreams.

We all get rejected sometimes. There are severely maladaptive ways of handling romantic rejection, like becoming a stalker or murderer, and then there are mildly maladaptive ways, like avoiding intimacy altogether. Preventing an intimate relationship from developing out of fear usually results in a lonely life.

Life is about risks and that makes it fun as well as scary, but we take them because to not do so is to not live.

So learn how to open your heart again and give someone a chance, because that’s the only way to developing the kind of happy relationship you’re looking for.

couple jumping over pool

 

Zane wrote: “I am a straight male college student. I have fantasies about being cuckolded and being humiliated by feet in chastity. I want to meet girls who will actually be open to this kinda stuff. How do I find girls that would actually be open to this without telling every girl I have sex with that I have these fetishes?”

Liz says: You could bring it up casually in conversation, as in “I read about this guy who said he had a thing for being humiliated by his girlfriend, he loved to be made to lick her feet while sex was withheld. What would you do if your boyfriend was into that?” Then gauge her reaction. You’ll know if she’s open to sexual experimentation or into domination by her response.

But do this in person, not through text or a phone call. You can glean a lot from body language and facial expressions.

Good luck, Zane!

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