Bed­time sto­ries

Savvy sex­ol­o­gist Dr Frances Quirk an­swers your per­sonal, sex­ual and re­la­tion­ship ques­tions

Townsville Bulletin - - Savvy -

Ques­tion: I have a good male friend who has in­vited me to see a movie that is about be­ing ’ sex friends’. We go to the movies quite a bit but tend to steer clear of any­thing that is ro­man­tic or sex­ual so I am sur­prised he has sug­gested we go to this one. We have been friends for years and re­ally like each other but it’s more of a pla­tonic thing, al­though we did have sex once when we went away on hol­i­day to­gether. There was a mix up with our room book­ing and we had a dou­ble in­stead of a twin, so we shared and one thing led to an­other! But we talked about that af­ter­wards and agreed it was just a one-off and didn’t mean any­thing. Nei­ther of us is see­ing any­one else but I don’t want to give him the wrong im­pres­sion that I am in­ter­ested in a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with him. Should I sug­gest we go to see a dif­fer­ent movie? Adele An­swer: It sounds as if your concern is that agree­ing to go and see this par­tic­u­lar movie might be taken as im­plicit en­dorse­ment of the prin­ci­ple of ’ sex friends’ and that your friend may make a move or make this sug­ges­tion to you. This is a great op­por­tu­nity to check out your con­cerns against your friends in­ten­tions! With a good friend it is eas­ier to start a light­hearted con­ver­sa­tion about the con­tent of the movie or to be more di­rect and state your con­cerns, be­ing able to clar­ify his in­ten­tions and voice your con­cerns will prob­a­bly re­duce some of your anx­i­ety about this. If you are go­ing to be more di­rect then it would be worth men­tion­ing the pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence that you had and giv­ing that as one rea­son why you are won­der­ing if this is a de­sire on the part of your friend. It is prob­a­bly worth tak­ing some time to think through your own re­ac­tion and why this has come up as a concern for you now rather than pre­vi­ously-given that you have been friends for a long time. Other­wise-en­joy the movie! Ques­tion: My girl­friend’s gen­i­tals smell re­ally bad just be­fore and when she has her pe­riod. She uses tam­pons and not pads so I don’t think it is that and she has good per­sonal hy­giene and ev­ery­thing. But it is just re­ally no­tice­able around that time and it sort of puts me off get­ting too close to her, par­tic­u­larly in bed. We don’t usu­ally have sex when she has her pe­riod but she does like to be a bit more af­fec­tion­ate and I am re­ally strug­gling to keep that up be­cause I can’t bear the smell! I don’t know if this is a com­mon thing with women ( I haven’t re­ally no­ticed it with pre­vi­ous girlfriends) or if I have a par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive nose but it is a re­ally awk­ward thing to try and bring up and I just don’t know what to do about it? David An­swer: For some women changes in their vagi­nal acid­ity oc­curs just prior to and dur­ing their pe­riod, this acid­ity and the nor­mal vagi­nal bac­te­rial flora can also be af­fected by things like bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, the use of an in­tra-uter­ine con­tra­cep­tive de­vice ( IUD), douch­ing, fre­quency of sex, a new part­ner or mul­ti­ple sex part­ners. If your part­ner is aware her­self of a smell that changes with her pe­riod then she may be quite con­scious of it and per­haps be wash­ing more or us­ing douches to try and mask the smell, which would ac­tu­ally make things worse. Whilst it is likely to be a sen­si­tive is­sue if it is framed as concern and with a sug­ges­tion to fol­low up with a GP to make sure there is noth­ing wrong it may be eas­ier to bring up and eas­ier for your girl­friend to re­spond to.

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