Trojan war

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andrea@altsexcolumn.com

Dear Andrea:

I'm in my first sexual relationship. There's been a lot of lovely hand- and mouth-action, but no penis-vagina intercourse because I can't maintain an erection with a condom on. She really wants genital intercourse; she's very experienced and always had her best orgasms that way. She also says she's never heard of this problem before — and my self-proclaimed sex expert friends concur. Am I really that unique in experiencing a complete loss of stimulation with a condom? And assuming that we don't get married, my sex life looks pretty bleak if I can't use condoms. Any ideas?

Love,

Can't Feel a Thing

Dear Thing:

Well, sure. Don't listen to your self-proclaimed sex expert friends, for one thing. I'm a self-proclaimed sex expert myself, and I've heard of your problem before. Of course I have. You may be an extreme case, but no, you're not unique.

It's true that this weird bit of wiring of yours is capable of dooming you to a life of sexual frustration or sexual diseases, depending. So, in escautf8g order of inconvenience, I offer some technical solutions: a small amount of lube inside the condom, thinner condoms, polyurethane (plastic) condoms, those odd big-head condoms which are supposed to flap and rub around your business end in a lubricious manner, or — I hesitate even to suggest this but it's actually not that bad an idea — the female condom.

If you really can't feel a damned thing through an ordinary rubber rubber, I have limited faith in the ability of a drop of lube or a different brand of condom to make the earth move for you, but it's easy enough to try and shrug in a world-weary manner if it doesn't work. The plastic options are a much better bet. They're harder to find, though, so there'd be no running out to the corner store with your pants half fastened; you'd have to plan ahead. The Avanti polyurethane condom had a bad rap for a while but has been tested extensively and is actually just as safe as anything else. They really are a better aesthetic experience all round: they are thin and quick to transmit body heat; they don't taste like a mouthful of steel-belted radial; and they're safe to use with baby oil or WD-40 or whatever greases your boat. It's not like you'd never know it's there, mind you — it's a condom, and they all suck — but there's a chance you'd be able to find your dick in the dark while wearing one, which appears to be more than we can say about the latex ones.

I find myself hoping very hard that the Avanti works for you, because I really don't want to have to recommend the female condom. It's expensive, more elusive yet than plastic condoms, and, frankly, ridiculous. It's as long as your forearm, resembles a jellyfish, makes a horrid sloshy crinkling noise (the Avanti does this too but more discreetly), and although it looks OK while your lady friend is supine, turn her prone or stand her up, and it will hang low and wobble to and fro and make you both giggle, if you're inclined that way, or cry, if you're not. It's a terrible product, in short, except for one aspect, which is surely worthy of notice: it works. You'll probably hate it, but then again, if it's a choice between knowing that your penis is inside a vagina and "Vagina? What vagina?" maybe you won't.

Try the other things first, though. None of them resemble an aquarium exhibit that happened to lodge itself, unbidden, up your girlfriend's hoo-ha, and that's always a plus if you ask me.

Love,

Andrea

Dear Andrea:

I had sex with a girl one time who has a regular other partner. We did it once using a condom, and I pulled out with the condom on, prior to ejacuutf8g away from her. Her other friend doesn't use a condom and withdraws. She called me to say she was pregnant, and I freaked.

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