DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #33: Orgasm-Friendly Zone


Dear Sugar,

I’m a thirty-year-old man. I’ve been reading your column faithfully every week and you’ve helped me think about my life in ways that I would not have otherwise and I thank you for that. You’re direct but loving in a way that I find truly enlightening. My question is in response to something you wrote in your reply to “Virgin Forever” in a previous column. You advised her to “Teach him how to touch you so that you have really good orgasms.”

This is horribly embarrassing, Sugar, but could teach me how to give women really good orgasms? Not in person, obviously (though, truly, I’d enjoy that more than you probably want to know. I should clarify that even though you’ve never said whether you’re a man or a woman, my guess is that you’re female?). What I’m trying to ask is would you give me specific advice about how to make women come? I don’t think I’m the only guy in America who needs coaching in this area. Am I?

A bit of background: I’ve had one serious, committed, “in love” relationship and a couple of somewhat serious relationships in the three-to-eight month range and several one-night or one-week or three-week casual deals. My serious relationship was when I was 19-22 and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t spend much time trying to make my girlfriend come. We had intercourse and generally messed around and I figured that was enough to do the trick. I tried harder with other women and some made noises that indicated they had an orgasm, but I’m not 100% sure any of them did. I don’t mean to imply that I suck in bed—none of the women have ever run screaming from me and they seem to like what we do well enough—but none have ever screamed in pleasure either, if you know what I mean.

I want to make women scream for that reason. Maybe, at thirty, I’ve just finally reached a certain maturity level? I think part of my problem is that I’m intimidated by the female anatomy and I’m not sure how exactly to touch it to bring about maximum pleasure. I watch porn often enough, but that doesn’t seem to tell me what I need to know, unless women really do come from being hammered relentlessly while being bent over the back of a couch.

Sugar, any instruction and/or wisdom will be appreciated. Help me make my future lovers come!
Eager to Please


Dear Eager to Please,

Thanks for the words of praise, darling. I appreciate them very much. Wow. Yes. Great question! How to make the women of the world COME? I’m so glad you asked. It’s high time, as a matter of fact. It goes without saying that what any given woman wants in bed varies widely, but it’s also true that there are some basic principles and practices that will help you achieve your goal, so how about I cook up a fast and dirty How To Get Her Off guide, Sugar style?

The best way to make a woman come is to ask her what she would like you to do to make her come. A surprising number of people are too bashful to have this conversation—even while they are fucking each other’s brains out—but doing so is key, Eager to Please, especially when it’s not coming naturally. This conversation can be whispered while you’re in the act (“Do you like that, baby? Do you like that? Softer/harder/slower/now?”) Or it can be had in the plain, calm light of day over a cup of joe. (“So, what turns you on? What’s your favorite way to come?”) If your woman is shy about telling you what gets her off, reassure her that you won’t judge her and that you’re asking because you really want to give her what she wants and needs in bed. I’m pretty sure she’ll eventually comply.

Most women need to feel safe in order to have an orgasm. I don’t mean that in a lovey-dovey-let’s-take-a-bubble-bath-together way, though it’s true that lots of women come most easily and often when they’re with someone they trust and love. What I mean is that the female orgasm is pretty complex and intense and most women can’t have one unless they’re able to surrender everything to the moment and a lot of women aren’t able to surrender to the moment because they feel self-conscious about how long they’re taking or about whether their bodies are safely within the teeny tiny culturally-imposed borders of what’s considered beautiful in our society or because they’re worried the kids/neighbors/housemates will hear their moans and shrieks of ecstasy should they let themselves feel that ecstasy or because coming—surrendering—is just so damn intimate that they can’t do it with some jackass they just met the week before.

Another reason women don’t come is because they aren’t even in the vicinity of surrendering because their partner has taken his cues from porn movies and he thinks hammering away at her relentlessly while bending her over the back of a couch is enough to do “the trick,” so she does what a shockingly high percentage of women do in this situation and she fakes an orgasm just so the whole damn, initially arousing, but ultimately disappointing thing can be over with, while keeping the monumentally fragile male ego intact.

(Not that I’m unilaterally opposed to being hammered away at relentlessly while bent over a couch.)

I want you to hold that in your mind before we get to logistics, Eager to Please. I want you to think about how you can create a cocoon of acceptance and praise and privacy and trust and sensuality and sensitivity with the women you sleep with—even women you sleep with on the most casual basis. I want you to consider creating an orgasm-friendly zone, if you will. The best way to do this is to be honest and open and present with your lovers. To ask and to listen. To never again have the sort of sex in which you assume anything primarily involving your own hard cock did “the trick” for a woman. Being able to be honest and open and present during sex has everything to do with self-confidence and humility, with a sort of searching generosity and geeky goodwill that seems to have been missing in your sex life thus far.

So now. How to do it. Fucking is fantastic. Blowjobs are a hot dream. But you’re going to have to seriously acquaint yourself with the clitoris if you want to make your honey sing. Clitoral stimulation is how women come. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Some women achieve orgasm by having their G-spot (located inside the vagina) stimulated during intercourse, but this is relatively rare. The clit is where it’s at. It’s a tender button of bliss, the only organ in the human body that serves no purpose other than sexual pleasure. It’s exquisitely sensitive and responsive to the right touch. You can stimulate a woman’s clitoris with your finger(s), your tongue, your cock, a vibrator, or anything else that strikes your fancy once you go master class. You can stimulate a woman’s clitoris while you’re fucking her, being sucked off, riding together in a car, or lying placidly in bed next to each other.

The clitoris, in short, is a versatile orgasm machine! But it’s also a wily thing, and it’s important you use the right approach and technique. You can ruin everything by touching it too soon—before a woman is aroused and lubricated—so I suggest you get your lovers good and worked up before you lay a finger on Madam C. Kissing, nipple stimulation, gentle, teasing strokes on the thighs and labia, talking dirty and/or sweet, are all good ideas. Once you do make contact with your lover’s clitoris, soft and slow is almost always preferable to fast and hard. For more detailed advice on technique, visit this fabulous web site that will tell you everything you need to know about getting women off:

Good luck, Eager to Please. Write me back when you’ve made your first woman howl.



Dear Sugar,

I’m going through a strange, new phase in my personal life. My first serious, monogamous relationship lasted from the ages of 21-25, and I didn’t realize fully until I was on the other side of it just how sexually abusive my boyfriend was. Nothing physical–but he was constantly berating and belittling me to the point that I internalized every single judgment he lobbed my way and now, over two years later, and after several healthy sexual partnerships, I still retain a bit of that inner critic and self-doubt.

Up until a few months ago, my dating life has always been sort of black and white. I’ve either been in a serious, monogamous relationship OR…I’ve dabbled around with one-night stands or random, no-strings-attached romps with platonic male friends. But recently I’ve entered the strange and magical world of casual, non-monogamous dating. I’ve met a few guys who I genuinely enjoy on an intellectual level, as well as sexually. I’m learning a lot about my own sexuality through interacting with distinctly different partners, and I feel like I’m finally discovering that part of myself, which is awesome.

Maybe it’s because I’m new to this whole non-monogamous scene and it just doesn’t come naturally to me (yet?), but sometimes I find myself feeling completely overwhelmed by the prospect of juggling these different men. One week, I went out with “Bill” on Monday, saw “Jack” on Tuesday, then had a no-strings-attached encounter with a friendly ex on Wednesday. It was lovely getting laid three nights in a row, but getting laid by three different dudes sort of made my head spin.

I don’t want to have anonymous and/or completely meaningless sex, but neither do I want to hone in on one guy and pursue a serious relationship right now. I’m a full-time student and writer, so I have PLENTY of other stuff going on… But how can I navigate these new waters without giving myself a nervous breakdown? And, am I obliged to tell the guys I’m seeing that they’re not the only dude I’m sleeping with?

Thanks for any insights!
Man Juggler


Dear Man Juggler,

I’ll answer the easy question first: Yes, you are obliged to tell the men you’re sleeping with regularly that you’re not sleeping with them exclusively. There are no exceptions to this rule. Ever. For anyone. Under any circumstances. People have the right to know if the people they are fucking are also fucking other people. This is the only way the people fucking people who are fucking other people can make emotionally healthy decisions about their lives. It’s clean. It’s right. It’s honest. And it’s a basic tenant of Sugar’s hard-earned, didn’t-do-it-the-right-way-the-first-time-around Ethical Code to Loving Others As Well Loving Oneself.

Plus, it seems like breaking this news is going to be rather easy, Man Juggler. It sounds to me that the men on your current roster of lovers already know that you aren’t sleeping with them exclusively. (And yet, if they all knew this, why would you ask the question, sweet pea?) Best be sure to slip it in rather soon. You don’t have to be overly specific or get all heavy and doe-eyed and like, “Um…we really have to talk.” Just say, “Hey _______ (Bill/Jack/friendly ex/new romping partner I have acquired since I wrote that question to Sugar), this has been super fun and I want you to know that I’m seeing other people too.”

Then smile. Just a little. And perhaps run your hand very lightly up his dreamy hunk of hairy man arm.

DON’T YOU LOVE THOSE MAN ARMS? Whew. Me too, sister. Me too.

Okay. Now. Onto your question about how to navigate the “strange and magical world of casual, non-monogamous dating.” I think it’s excellent that you’re having fun sleeping with people you like but don’t love, who stimulate you both sexually and intellectually. And it’s even better that this new (and likely temporary) era of your sex life is helping you discover a previously unexplored side of yourself. So all that’s peachy, right? What’s not so peachy is this business about how you feel “completely overwhelmed by the prospect of juggling these different men.”

The beauty of your situation, Man Juggler, is that you don’t have to juggle. Just because you can fuck a different man every night of the week doesn’t mean you should. One of the basic principles of every single art form has to do not with what’s there—the music, the words, the movement, the dialogue, the paint—but with what isn’t. In the visual arts it’s called the negative space—the blank parts around and between objects, which is, of course, every bit as crucial as the objects themselves. The negative space allows us to see the non-negative space in all its glory and gloom, its color and mystery and light. What isn’t there gives what’s there meaning. Imagine that.

Sex with three different guys on three consecutive nights? It’s too much paint. Don’t do it again. Not because I told you so, but because you told me so when you used the phrases “head spin” and “nervous breakdown” in reference to that three-day run. Listen to yourself. And have fun.