Advice for the Beginner
*What would you tell a young woman just beginning her sexual life?
Learn about yourself, your wants, expectations and your own body. Look at your genitals and know where the various parts are. Find out what kind of touches you like and where it feels good by exploring on your own. Learn about the variety of birth control and disease protection available and use them consistently. (Planned Parenthood is a good source for this information.) Lastly, choose any partner wisely. If you can’t trust this person with your body, your reputation, your affections, then this is not a person with whom to have sex.
*Why would intercourse become more painful the older I get? You’d think as I get used to it – I started late – it would become easier and more pleasurable.
We do get better at anything we keep on practicing and the same goes for sex. It’s not going to be enjoyable if something is painful and if it is painful something is physically wrong. Some of the body changes of aging that can make intercourse painful besides the aching and stiff joints of any physical activity are vaginal dryness and the thinning of the vaginal walls, uterine contractions if there is a condition like fibroids, and the clitoris itself can become overly sensitive. Whatever the causes in your case, your gynecologist will be able to help.
* I read that how sensitive a woman’s nipples are depends on the size of her breasts and that a woman with small breasts has more sensitive nipples than one with large breasts. This is supposed to have something to do with the number of nerve ends spread over the skin surface or something like that. I wear a D cup and have since I was 14 and my nipples are extremely responsive. I have reached orgasm just by having a lover do things to my breasts.
Then what is your question? Obviously what you read is wrong. You know your own body.
*How long should foreplay last?
You may have heard me saying this many times before but here it is again: there is no “shoulds” about how people share pleasure. It’s always a very personal determination. The touching and caressing that is often used to get a partner ready for intercourse doesn’t have to be the appetizer for the main event but can very well be the main event itself, or the dessert. There are no rules about Activity B having to precede Activity C. People do what feels good when it feels good and not a thing wrong with trying to make feeling good last as long as possible.
* I’ve been reading a lot of historical nonfiction lately, mostly biographers. It seems like in every century and every culture but this one people often marry within their family – usually cousins, aunts or uncles, but even half brothers and sisters. None of that is legal now, is it? When did all this change?
It changed probably when we learned more about genetics. However, every civilization from the most primitive to the most complex have familial taboos about who may have sex with and/or marry whom. What differs are which relationships are taboo. In same societies coupling was fine along the mothers kinship line but not the fathers, or vice versa. Egyptian royalty often were required to marry siblings and, while first cousin marriages were the norm in various cultures until recently, they are banned in most of the United States. States laws still differ about the legality of marriages between relatives.