dear annie

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Indy Lifestyle Online
I was hurt when my girlfriend told me I am "too rough" when performing cunnilingus. No one has ever complained before. I'm confused.

Paul, Bristol

n Well, one woman's good time is another woman's nightmare. It was perhaps unfair of her to complain without giving you any guidelines (criticism is only fair if it is constructive). All the women I know complain of men being too rough when muff-diving. I can only imagine this is because men like oral sex to be quite rough and do-as-they-would-be-done-to. The clitoris is a very delicate thing. Imagine you are licking hundreds and thousands off a mound of whipped cream, and you are trying to do so without leaving any indentations on the cream. This is how gentle you should be. You are not eating a hamburger.

I have got a new boyfriend. While we were frolicking, he put his finger up my bottom. No one has ever done this before and it shocked me (I am no prude). Why did he do this? Is it supposed to turn me on? Because it didn't.

Angela, London

n Mmm. It can be quite a shock when a man first does this to you. You think: "Oh my God, has he got the wrong orifice?" Again, men do this because they like having it done to them. This may be because their prostate gland and ejaculatory ducts are near their anus. If you don't like it, tell him. If you find this hard then mention, in conversation, that you have piles. I think you will find that he rarely ventures up there again.

Is there a polite way to get a man out of your bed in the morning without hurting his feelings?

Bettie, Milton Keynes

n I always found saying I had football practice worked. They can identify with that.

How do I talk dirty during sex? My boyfriend loves it when I do, but I feel like I am in some tacky porn film and get really embarrassed.

Polly, Cornwall

n If you really don't like it then don't do it, but I suspect you'd like to have a bash, but need to get over the "Oh my God, I can't believe I'm saying this stuff" hurdle. First, turn the lights down low, it helps if he can't see you blushing. Secondly saying something like "Give it to me big boy" is, quite frankly, a bit passe. What men seem to like is you describing how he makes you feel, what you'd like him to do to you and vice versa. Intersperse these short (and they should be, not play-length monologues) declarations of lust with lots of "ahhs" and "ooohs" and stuff. I couldn't possible tell you exactly what to say as it should sound natural and not like you're reading the nine o'clock news.

I think my girlfriend thinks I am not a very good kisser. What do girls like?

Mattie, Swansea

n I remember once watching an Elvis film. In it Elvis kissed this girl and she nearly swooned and I thought "surely kissing can't do that to you?" But I had not been properly kissed. When one day I was, I nearly fainted. It was sublime. I think (and of course I can only speculate) that a lot of men think that seeing how far they can get their tongues down your throat is all. Good kissing is not like eating an orange and trying not to let the juice drip. It's about lots of little kisses, around the lips and on the lips. You intersperse these sweet kisses with passionate explorations of the mouth. But don't pump your tongue in and out as if you were trying to blow up a tractor tyre. Hold her face with your hands on either side. This is a very tender, oh so romantic thing to do. Oh my goodness I have to go and lie down.

I have heard that women like and need lots of foreplay, how long is permissible or desirable, do you think?

Michael, Newcastle

n You may be asking the wrong person. For me, foreplay is all about creating tension well before the bedroom - lots of eyelash foreplay (direct eye contact), sexually charged conversation and minimal physical contact until the clothes come off. I think that foreplay in the conventional sense is a waste of time. But ask another chick and she'll say something else. There's no permissible or desirable timespan - you do the usual foreplay things until it seems natural to carry on. If you've got to think about it, are you enjoying it?

Do sex and food mix?

Vivien, London

n No. I can't bear all this newfangled fashion for smearing one another with ice-cream and what not. When I eat I eat, when I shag, I shag.

When we split up, my ex-boyfriend told me that I was no good at hand- jobs. This has dented my confidence and he wouldn't explain. I used to be very attentive and did what I thought I should (up and down hand movements etc).

N, Lichfield

n What a nasty man. The chances are he didn't mean it, just picked on something. The thing with wrist-jockeying is not to be too gentle. Up and down hand movements are fine, but they have to be vigorous. Have you ever seen a man wank? They don't tend to use long up and down movements, but short fast ones, like shaking a tomato ketchup bottle. Concentrate on the top part, and don't yank down on his penis as if you are trying to send it into orbit. Use spit to lubricate. But the best way is to ask him and let him show you.

I never know if my girlfriend has come and I think saying "Did you come" is so naff. How am I supposed to know?

David, Newcastle

n Mmm, this is hard. Being asked "How was it for you?" after every sex session puts pressure on women because we know what we are really being asked is "Did you come?". Asking her every now and again, as in "Do you come as often as you'd like to?", "Is there anything I can do?" etc, is a better option.

8 Annie has turned her hand to sex problems for one week only. She returns to fashion advice next week.