The Naked Advice

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

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?”

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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. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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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Joe wrote: “My ex-girlfriend and I have been off and on for 4 years. We always feel a strong connection together, but it never seems to get past two months at a time. She has broken up with me a few times in the past, but reached out again after 10 months. We connected again and communication was better. After two months, I broke things off (probably by a fear from the past and how she has broken things off). I realized it was abrupt, but I felt it was needed. This happened at the beginning of February. I did reach out to her with a letter early this month, expressing my apologies. I also stated why I felt this way and how I still miss and love her. My question Liz is this: can this still be repaired? Why do I feel so strongly for this person, but yet we cannot seem to keep a consistent relationship?”

Liz says: This happens a lot, actually, especially when we are young adults and still figuring out what we want and need in a serious relationship.

It sounds like the typical scenario: you’re both physically attracted to each other but incompatibilities keep reminding each of you that this relationship probably can’t last for the long haul, so there’s a back and forth within yourselves and the relationship, a tug-of-war between your hearts and minds. You try to make it work because the attraction is strong enough, but then, for example, she makes fun of you in front of your friends and tells you she wouldn’t marry someone who didn’t make at least $150k a year and you’re back to being ready to dump her again. In your case, you mention a fear of being dumped again as the motive for beating her to it, but even that can often be a sign of a serious lack of trust and good communication. Sometimes after the break-up all it takes to contact the ex again is feeling lonely or being rejected by someone new, so a vulnerable time can have you seeking an ex’s companionship and the cycle continues.

Since I don’t know the details of what those incompatibilities are between you two, it’s difficult for me to encourage “repairing” this relationship. The tug-of-war is usually a sign that the couple doesn’t belong together or at the very least they are too immature for a serious relationship anyway.

More often than not, many couples try their best to ignore serious differences and force the relationship to “work”, but end up frustrated by one or both having to compromise themselves too much, which can be soul-crushing. Many couples finally break up for good and look back wondering what took them so long.

My advice is to stop trying to force 2 puzzle pieces to fit together and eventually you’ll find the right puzzle piece. When you do find the right puzzle piece, it won’t feel like so much “work” to get along and enjoy each other. It’s not that you two won’t fight, it’s that disagreements will be less often and usually resolved more quickly.

But if your differences are minor and you feel that the break-ups are more due to bad communication and fears, then open up to her with direct, honest language and ask her if she sees the possibility of you two fixing those issues and being happy together.

Good luck, Joe!

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Hey guys! As many of you know, I had walked away from my blog a couple of months ago, but I realized after some time that it didn’t feel right to abandon what I’d worked so hard to accomplish. I’m very proud of The Naked Advice and decided I’m not ready to give up seeing it become more successful!

It’s extremely difficult to achieve balance in life. Oftentimes, we make the mistake of going too far the other direction in an attempt to be more balanced but instead end up just bouncing between extremes. I realized that abandoning The Naked Advice was actually an extreme reaction to the stress I was feeling. Instead of walking away, I should have simply made changes that would have alleviated that stress.

Your comments of support and love when I announced walking away were beautiful and I appreciated them so much. Thank you for taking the time to reach out and for trusting me with your dilemmas. I am grateful for all of you!

My goal with The Naked Advice isn’t restricted to helping people on an individual basis with their sex lives and relationships, I also want to change the cultural issues in the United States that inhibit people from having healthy, happy sex lives and relationships. Homophobic, anti-gay and anti-trans attitudes and laws, abstinence-only education, and religious sexual repression and abuses do more damage than many people realize or want to acknowledge. My hope is for us to maintain a healthy national dialogue that promotes acceptance, education, and love.

If you would like to support what I do here, please consider making a donation! I am working on figuring out how to add a donation button to my blog or maybe setting up a Patreon account, but until then you can help me by donating to my PayPal: PayPal.me/LaPointArt

I’m still painting, too, so follow my Instagram to see my art (many of which are for sale!).

I am going to start answering letters I’ve already received but please keep your letters coming!

Love,

Liz LaPoint

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Thank you friends and fans, for supporting The Naked Advice and my mission to bring frank, educated, rational discussions about sex and relationships to the forefront with acceptance and love. Sex and love are too often muddied down in conversations, heavily influenced by religion, biased experiences, social norms, and sexism, which leads to unhealthy assumptions, unhealthy interpretations, repression, and unhealthy behaviors. My goal with The Naked Advice was to cut through the bullshit and discuss everything from a fact-based point-of-view, psychologically delving into everything from sexual fetishes to the proliferation of trigger warnings. If I shared my personal experiences, it was to add insight, not to speak as if my experiences could be extrapolated to everyone (which is a common mistake people do), and offer wisdom to those just starting out navigating the adult world of dating and sex.

My YouTube channel has almost 3 million views and thousands of subscribers, so thank you to everyone who’s watched my videos and sent me letters asking for advice or wanting to share their personal insights. I cherish you all! I’ve learned a ton from you guys. My channel’s videos (with the hundreds of comments from those sharing their personal experiences) serve as a great educational tool to those who study psychology, sociology, and sexology, as well as serving to be a place for those who might be struggling to accept their sexuality or kinks. I made my last video almost 2 years ago, after becoming exhausted by the weekly schedule of researching, writing, filming, and editing the videos. On top of that, the computer my husband and I were using was not meant to take on that workload and it was struggling to keep up with our demands.

The time has come, also, to walk away from my blog. I just can’t continue to be an unpaid intern after 3 years of offering free advice. Time is money, and I can’t reasonably justify putting so much time anymore into something that doesn’t pay. I tried to get The Naked Advice to be picked up as a syndicated column, and I don’t know if it’s because there’s only room for 1 Dan Savage in the world or if there was something about me or my blog that just didn’t work, or maybe The Naked Advice with Liz LaPoint simply sounded too “risqué” for some publications, but it did not get picked up. Perhaps I’m too impatient, because I’ve read several successful bloggers say it took them anywhere from 5-10 years to “make it”, but maybe they could afford to continue working for free. I cannot.

But I’m extremely proud of my work, and so appreciative of my husband (who would work on his days off filming and editing my videos, essentially never having a day off work) and so grateful to everyone who believed in what I did. Thank you, again, for watching, subscribing, and trusting me to give you sound advice. My massive apologies to anyone whose letter to me has gone unanswered.

A huge thank you goes to psychotherapist Rob Peach and physiotherapist Dr. Susie Gronski! They both helped me give advice using their specific expertise and I’m eternally grateful. Visit Rob Peach’s website and Dr. Gronski’s website.

This isn’t necessarily goodbye forever. Who knows what the future holds! For now, I am focusing on my new passion: painting. I’ve taken up painting with acrylics and have already sold one of my paintings and had 2 commissioned, so maybe this is the universe telling me I’m on the right track 😉

If you want to follow me on my new life as an artist, follow my Instagram: @liz_lapoint

If you don’t already follow me on Twitter, please do! I tweet a lot about sex, social politics, and psychology: @liz_lapoint

I will maintain my Only Fans account, so if you’re a fan of the artistic nude modeling I do, please sign up (18+ only): Only Fans

Plus, keep your eyes peeled for my husband’s mixed media graphic novel, The Chosen Nightmare, to be published this year. I modeled for the book as the main character (a lot of images from the book are on my Only Fans). Follow him on Twitter too: @terry2070

Happy 2018!

Love,

Liz LaPoint

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“Sea & Earth” original acrylic abstract painting on 16″ x 20″ canvas by Liz LaPoint

Adam wrote: “So I was adopted from another country and my parents brought me to the United States. They were very European and decided not to circumcise me. I have heard that it’s a major turn off to girls. But I have also heard that girls really like it. I have never had an issue with cleaning it. But what’s the best way to help girls understand or at least not turn away in disgust when they find out I’m not cut?

And do you think that the opinion of cut vs uncut is changing? I’ve seen more men in porn and on chaturbate that have uncut penises. Thoughts?

Liz says: If a woman acts disgusted or weirded out by your perfectly natural, un-mutilated body, ask her “Do you wish your parents had asked a doctor to slice off your labia when you were a newborn, or do you appreciate that they didn’t and prefer to just keep your genitals clean?”

If a woman finds your uncircumcised penis a turn-off and she can’t comprehend your point, dump her. Move on quickly and don’t look back. How would she feel about a man who took a look at her labia and was disgusted?

Americans have been bamboozled in a lot of ways, and the belief that routine male infant circumcision is necessary as a preventive measure for good health is one of them. Every supposed reason someone names for why it’s a good thing could be applied to females, too. For example, females would suffer from fewer urinary tract infections too if we didn’t have all that extra skin down there. So why don’t we also perform routine infant circumcision on baby girls?

The answer is that it started as a way to prevent teenaged boys from wanting to masturbate. They used to believe over a century ago that if boys didn’t have that foreskin that aided masturbation, it wouldn’t feel as good and they’d be less likely to masturbate. This is why whenever I hear a guy claim he’s “glad” he was circumcised, I point out that while I’m glad he doesn’t seem to be traumatized by it, he doesn’t know what he’s missing. In other words, it’s easier to be okay with it when you don’t know and never will know how much better sex could be had you not had a certain body part removed when you were born.

So basically, routine male circumcision began with the goal of controlling boys’ sexuality and then in order to convince society to continue once people started questioning the practice, they came up with all sorts of health benefits to justify it. These health benefits, by the way, could be utilized by simply keeping your genitals clean and practicing safe sex, exactly the way women do it. Wearing condoms, washing properly, abstinence until marriage, not putting foods or douches into your genitals, etc, also reduce your chances of having UTI’s, STD’s and cancer. Should we burn off the skin on our hands if it reduces the spread of germs, or should we just wash our hands regularly?

(I’m excluding the religious reasons for routine infant circumcision because most of the U.S. population is not Jewish, so the reasons it has become customary in the U.S. with Christians and non-religious people are going to be different than the reason Jewish people do it.)

Rates have gone down in the U.S. as more and more people stop to actually think about what they’ve been told, so you are less alone than you realize here. One compelling reason more parents are opting out is because they understand that they shouldn’t have the right to remove a part of their child’s body without his consent when there is no medically necessary justification for it. If their son wants to have it removed when he is old enough to make that decision, that’s his right, but it should be up to him.

Here is the official statement on routine male circumcision by the American Academy of Pediatrics:  “After a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence, the American Academy of Pediatrics found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision.

While the AAP says the benefits outweigh the risks, I don’t see how it’s worth risking your son losing his penis just to possibly prevent future infections (infections he could have just prevented with safe sex and cleanliness). It may be rare, but botched circumcisions happen. For one particularly depressing example, read here about David Reimer.

So to summarize my thoughts on the matter: don’t let anyone make you feel “dirty” or less attractive because your penis wasn’t irreversibly altered when you were born. Love your body and only date women who also love your body (there are plenty of women who love natural penises)!

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Gary wrote: “I would like to ask such an obvious question that I don’t know if it has been asked? After I cum (from either having sex or masturbating) how come I feel so tired and physically can’t move? I do literally just want to sleep.”

Liz says: Do you lie down on your back in your bed with the lights out?  All three signal to your mind that it’s time for sleep, and if it’s night and the end of a long hard day, that’s a perfect recipe for a snooze fest.

Plus, we engage a lot of muscles during sex, whether masturbating or with a partner. Those muscles get a workout, so it makes sense relaxing them afterward would make someone feel mellow or sleepy.

But the main culprits are hormones. Prolactin is released during orgasm and it suppresses dopamine, the hormone responsible for making us feel more alert. Add to that the hormone oxytocin, which is released anytime we are connecting with others and known as the “feel-good” hormone. The combination helps you calm down, relieving anxiety and aiding sleep. Women don’t produce as much prolactin during orgasm as men do, so this explains why it tends to be men who want to fall asleep right after sex.

So for those times you’d rather stay awake try keeping the lights on, not lying on your back, and doing it somewhere other than on the bed. That might help!

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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 😉

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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.

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