student from Arizona State wants to know...
What do you think of the new movie KINSEY and, in your
opinion, is it really worth seeing.
I had the opportunity to see the movie before it officially
opened when I was in Orlando attending the professional
meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of
Sexuality. I loved the movie and highly recommend it.
Alfred Kinsey is one of the best-known sex researchers.
His findings from thousands of face-to-face interviews
were published in two important books: Sexual behavior
in the human male (1948) and Sexual behavior in the
human female (1953). His research changed forever the
way we think and talk about sex. His findings revealed that
there is a wide range of variation in what people do sexually, and helped people
realize that there is a wide range of "normal" behaviors. We certainly
have come a long way since the 1940s and 50s. However, just as Kinsey
had to deal with political pressure and opposition to his work, so too do many
of today's sexuality researchers. In many ways, it is a very contemporary
story. The movie offers an important message to its viewers: that a lot of
human suffering could be prevented if we just gave people accurate information
about sexuality. The website to view video clips from the movie, KINSEY is: http://www2.foxsearchlight.com/kinsey/site/. See it
if you can!
A student from
Youngstown wants to know....
I've heard of the practice of "autoerotic hanging." Could
you explain what it is?
Dr. Caron's Answer: Let
me begin by stating that this is a very dangerous practice
- too often leading to death by asphyxiation. According
to Gary Kelly, author of Sexuality Today, autoerotic hanging
is accidental death from pressure placed around the neck
during masturbation. Some people, usually boys or
men, have found that wearing a noose around the neck, which
causes reduced oxygen to the brain, can enhance erotic
pleasure and orgasm. They will devise various hanging
techniques from which they can cut themselves loose prior
to loosing consciousness. What these individuals
do not realize is how easy it is to lose consciousness
when pressure is placed on the carotid artery in the neck. The
FBI estimates that between 500-1,000 people die accidentally
each year from this sort of sexual activity. It is believed
that the practice is more widespread than commonly assumed. Families
of victims are often confused about the sexual nature of
the death and are embarrassed about reporting it as such. Partly
for the same reason, the dangers of this kind of bondage
have not been widely publicized to young people.
A student from UConn wants to know.....
Sometimes when I get drunk I give blowjobs to guys I
hardly know. Is this
necessarily bad? However, they never want to have sex with me. Do
you think they like me? What should I do?
Caron's Response: For starters, I would like to
suggest that you stop drinking and take a serious look at
your behavior. You ask if I think these
guys like you. No, I don't think they like you - and I'm concerned
you don't like "you" either. I'm concerned that you are putting yourself
at risk. Please
make an appointment to talk to someone you can trust about what's going on
for you. Contact your campus counseling center, campus alcohol/substance
abuse services program, campus minister, or even the dean of students office
for information on who you can talk to. I think sitting down with someone
to discuss what is going on for you will help provide you with the insight
you need to make healthier choices. Best wishes.
A student from Cosumnes River College wants to know...
I was wondering why I am so addicted to sex. I have to have
an orgasm everyday in order to satisfy myself. I get really
angry if I don't have sex. I need sex to relieve my anger.
Please help me! Is it normal to feel this way?
Dr. Caron's Answer: I think lots of people find orgasm to
be a great way to relieve stress. It sounds like you may
be one of those people. As far as calling it an addiction,
I am not sure I would jump to such a label. If it feels healthy
and normal for you to orgasm each day, then great! Just because
you like something, doesn't mean it is necessarily a problem.
Having said that, I guess the bigger question you raise has
to do with the context of the orgasm - that is, your partner.
If you were talking about enjoying masturbation each day,
I would say not to worry.... but you imply that this involves
someone else in a sexual interaction. If this is true: How
does your partner feel about this? It sounds like sex has
become a demand, rather than a mutual experience of pleasing
one another. Is there an issue of needing to prove something
or reassure yourself within the relationship? The response
to no sex that you label as anger (versus just being a bit
edgy or agitated) is interesting and one I would encourage
you to explore with someone one-on-one, such as a counselor.
Why anger? Looking at the issue of anger seems like an important
place to begin that conversation. Best wishes.
A students from the University of California wants to know....
I have been in a relationship for almost 3 years with my
girlfriend. We have had a great relationship, the communication
could be better but that is both of our fault. The problem
came when we went on a vacation together. She was very drawn
back and not receptive at all, even to a simple conversation.
I had a feeling something was wrong. So I asked her and she
said she was fine and nothing was bothering her. A few days
after returning home she said we needed a break from one
another. This came as a total shock to me. I knew something
was wrong I just had no idea it was that bad. She said she
needed a break from us so she could be more like a college
student. I am very confused and I am not exactly sure how
to take it or what to do? I don't want to loose her she means
everything in the world to me. If you have any advice I would
greatly appreciate it.
Dr. Caron's Response:This sounds like a very
painful time for you. The person who you love and care about
is now telling
you she wants
a break. OUCH. That hurts! As you have discovered, there
are no guarantees in a relationship, and while you may have
had hopes for this one, it sounds like it may be over. I
do think that when a person says they need a break, we need
to believe them. I do worry that she has left you hanging
- suggesting that perhaps you and she may be back together
one day, once she has had time to "be more like a college
student." But would you really want her back - would
the trust be there? would the damage of this surprise announcement
be able to be overcome? It would be nice if you could get
her to tell you more about what is going on for her, but
unfortunately she may not be able to articulate anything
more than her need to be a college student. The issue becomes
whether you should hang around and wait for her to change
her mind - something that may never happen - or let go. A
relationship requires a commitment by the two people involved
- and she is not currently part of the equation. Your needs
are not being met. I would look to my friends for support.
You need time to grieve and to begin building a life without
her - as a way to protect yourself from more hurt. I hope
you can find the support you need to move on - so that should
she one day decide she is ready for a new relationship with
you, it can be on your terms, as well as on hers. Breaking
up/losing someone - is a difficult task - life is really
about learning to let go... I hope you can accept her decision
to break off the relationship and take whatever valuable
lessons you have learned from this into a new relationship
one day. Best wishes.
A student from University of North Carolina wants to know....
Does pot (marijuana) enhance sex?
Dr. Caron's Answer: Some people report increased interest
in sex under the influence of pot. It has been found to lead
to relaxation and lowered inhibitions and therefore when
used in moderation enhances sexual activity. Used in really
high amounts, however, can have the opposite effect - leading
to loss of desire for sex and inability to reach orgasm for
some people. The only thing desired at this point is food.
A student from the University of Maine wants to know.....
I had a Pap smear come back with some abnormal cells, I
have since had another pap and am waiting on the results.
My partner is convinced I have cervical cancer due to previous
sexual behaviors. Does having multiple sexual partners increase
your risk of getting cervical cancer, like he says? Or am
I right in that cancer is cancer and it doesn't discriminate?
Dr. Caron's Answer: First of all, I want to congratulate
you on taking steps in preventive health care by getting
a regular Pap smear. This is a simple screening test for
cervical cancer and is recommended annually for women beginning
when they are18 or sexually active (whichever comes first).
Early changes in the cells lining the cervix can be detected
through the Pap smear. Cervical cancer is almost 100% curable
if detected early. In fact, Pap smears have been responsible
for a 70% decline in deaths from cervical cancer. Of the
5,000 women who die from cervical cancer in the U.S. each
year, most had not had a Pap test in 5 or more years.
The results of a Pap smear may reveal normal cervical cells;
mild, moderate, or severe dysplasia (abnormal cells); or
carcinoma in situ (localized cancer). Abnormal cervical cells
may indicate a precancerous condition or a non cancerous
condition. The most common cause of an abnormal Pap smear
is infection, such as a yeast infection. Some studies suggest
up to one-fifth of all Pap smear results may be inaccurate,
usually indicating an abnormality when none exists.
When the results
of a Pap smear indicate abnormal cells, further tests may
be necessary before conclusive diagnosis
can be made. However, in the case of mild dysplasia doctors
often take a "wait and see" approach. For moderate
or severe dysplasia, acolposcopy (an exam using a special
microscope) and a tissue biopsy (removal of a piece of cervical
tissue to be looked at under a microscope) are two of the
tests that may be done. Abnormal cell changes occur up to
15 years before cancer develops. The good news is that there
are several simple, effective treatments used for cervical
abnormalities including cryosurgery (freezing tissues) and
biopsy (cutting out tissue). In more severe cases, a women
may need a complete hysterectomy.
In terms of asking
if it is true that "cancer is cancer
and it does not discriminate," you are correct to suggest
that we just do not have all the answers for why some people
develop cancer and others do not. However, some research
suggests that an increased risk of developing cervical cancer
has been linked to: the number of sexual partners (risks
increase as numbers increase), those who have had children
versus those who have not, infection with certain types of
the human papilloma virus(which cause genital warts), not
using a barrier method such as the condom or diaphragm, exposure
to cigarette smoke (your own or second hand), and those women
whose mothers were given DES. Your boyfriend's blaming tone
is one of extreme concern -and I would like to know where
his compassion and concern is at this point. It certainly
appears to reflect some bigger issues for him in this relationship.
Best wishes on finding out the results of your follow-up
Pap - and be sure to talk to your medical provider about
any of your questions and concerns.
student from the University of Maine wants to know....
Is it really true that having sex makes you live longer?
Clearly, if you are going to be sexually active, practicing
safer sex will help you live longer. In terms of your question,
there have seen a series of research articles suggesting that
this might be true. For example, one study found people who
had sex less than once a month had twice the death rate of
those who had sex at least twice a week. In another study,
a researcher found that people who have more sex than the
average person (about 4 times a week!) not only live longer,
but they actually look younger. Why you ask? Researchers believe
that it could be the result of hormones (such as Oxytocin)
which are released during orgasm. In his book, Super Young:
The Proven Way to Stay Young Forever, Dr. Weeks stresses that
diet and exercise also affect whether or not people look younger.
One interesting finding was that while masturbation is a healthy
alternative to couple sex, he did not find it to be as beneficial
in staying younger. So now you know why some people look young
for their age! Other studies have linked oxytocin to feelings
of bonding or closeness. It turns out women produce about
50 times more of this chemical during sex than do men. In
fact, it's been referred to as the "cuddling chemical"
- as it seems to play an important role in prompting cuddling
between lovers before, during and after lovemaking. Women
also produce oxytocin during birthing and lactation - and
many believe it may play a role in mother-infant bonding.
college student from UT wants to know...
I have heard that having oral sex is illegal. Is that true?
I hope people don't actually get arrested for it! Female,
of our laws dealing with sexual behavior were written 50,
100, or more years ago when society's values and attitudes
toward sex and marriage were quite different from what we
find acceptable today. Yet many of these laws remain on the
books and are sometimes applied by special interest groups
in discriminartory ways. About half the states in the U.S.
have statutes prohibiting intercourse between unmarried persons,
extramarital affairs, oral-genital sex, and anal intercourse.
These are called sodomy laws, the term sodomy being applied
rather freely to many forms of sex other than penis-in-vagina
intercourse. As recently as 1986 the US Supreme Court upheld
a Georgia antisodomy law in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick,
citing condemnations of oral and anal sex dating back in English
common law to the days of King Henry IV. In Georgia, oral
and anal sex is a criminal offense "regardless of whether
the parties who engage in it are married or unmarried, or
of the same or different sexes." Yet in 26 states oral
and anal sex is no longer a crime when engaged in by consenting
a student at Fanshawe College:
In the heat of the moment, I forgot to remove my tampon before
me and my boyfriend had sex...now it's gone...what do I do
If you are sure you did not take it out before intercourse,
then it is not "gone" as you say - it is in there
somewhere - most likely pushed up/crammed to the top of your
vagina, next to your cervix. If you or your partner are unable
to reach it when you are squatting and one of you inserts
a finger into your vagina, I suggest you seek some medical
assistance. It is not uncommon to have a woman contact a health
center and ask for assistance in removing a tampon. If you
just leave it there, it can create an environment that leads
to infection - and you will be seeking medical assistance
at that point to relieve the infection. Better now than later.
a student at the UNCW:
What does it take to keep my fiancé from cheating online?
One place to start is to talk with him about his motivation
for cheating online. Perhaps he sees what he is doing with
another person via a computer as quite innocent. Whether it's
in person or online, the reasons people "cheat"
are varied and complex. Sometimes such relationships are motivated
by a desire for excitement and variety. Some may be motivated
to gain evidence that they are still desirable to others.
In other cases people may be unhappy with their current relationship.
If emotional needs aren't being met in the relationship, cheating
may seem inviting. In some cases, having a relationship with
someone else may provide just the impetus a person needs to
end a relationship they no longer wish to be a part of. A
person may also be motivated to "cheat" by a desire
for revenge. It would be helpful to have that conversation
with him and understand what he is thinking.
It will also be
helpful to talk with him about the impact it is having on
your relationship with him. The effects of "cheating"
can vary. When the cheating is discovered, the "betrayed"
person may feel devastated, or overwhelmed by feelings of
inadequacy, rejection, extreme anger, resentment, shame, and
jealousy. It is important to know that while some relationships
in which a partner "cheats" end, it is possible
for couples to move past the cheating and have a successful
relationship. In some cases, the discovery may motivate a
couple to search for sources of the problems within their
relationship, a process that may actually lead to an improved
relationship. If both partners are willing to make a commitment
to the relationship, it is possible to rebuild the foundation.
Trust and honesty are key components for a successful relationship.
It will take time.
Finally, you refer
to him as your fiancé. This implies you are planning
a long-term commitment. Perhaps he needs to be reminded that
it's difficult to have a deep and meaningful relationship
built on a major lie. In your case, it sounds like he says
he is committed to you but at the same time he is forming
relationships with others online. If he truly cares about
you then he needs to sort out what matters more to him, and
whether or not he's ready for a single committed relationship.
If he cannot sort out which one is more important to him (you
or the online relationships), he probably is not ready for
a committed relationship. The sooner you find that out, the
better. Best wishes.