The Girl Next Door answers your most pressing questions

My wife likes a lot of foreplay and I’m out of moves. Any new tips?

Instead of worrying about finding some new moves, get back to basics. Make out on the couch like a teenager – depriving her of skin-on-skin contact sensation will increase desire. Or, risk making out in public. Feeling each other up covertly in inappropriate places where sex can’t happen is fraught with risk and lust. Run your hand a little higher under the table at dinner, brush her breasts in the movie theatre or give her a deep, deep kiss (highly underrated, by the way) when no one is looking. Basically, give her a taste and then carry on as normal. A little reverse psychology will have her tearing off your clothes as soon as she can. Failing that, there’s nothing sexier than good conversation. Really. As you’re making dinner, pour her a glass of wine and chat about something that’s been on her mind or something that really interests her. Don’t dismiss any topic or try to give advice, just listen. Engaging with her, listening and hearing reassures her that you care. That’s a vital combination because women who are confident in their partnership are more eager, relaxed and, importantly, ready to express that physically.

A girl I grew up with recently approached me about losing her virginity. The catch is that I know it’s not just about that – she could be seeking something more from our friendship or playing a mind game. How do I handle this?

As flattering as her proposal might be, you’re right to be cautious. On the surface, it’s likely she’s chosen you because you’re familiar and she feels comfortable around you. But mutual history and familiarity don’t always translate to trust and intimacy when the lights are out – two important factors to consider for a woman. The first time’s not always easy. Are you prepared if things don’t go according to plan? You seem concerned she might have an ulterior motive and there’s certainly potential for awkwardness afterwards (especially when you bump into her mother in the shops and she reminds you of the time you both went skinny dipping in their pool as kids). You better start communicating with each other: whatever happens, talking things through will be a crucial component.

My girlfriend of four years doesn’t want me to touch her cellphone; I don’t mind if she looks at mine. Is she hiding something?

I think a sense of privacy is important in a long-term relationship. She doesn’t have to give you access to her personal phone, but neither should she feel the need to guard it. I’d start off being a little more guarded with your phone, maybe it’ll help her reflect on her own behaviour. But her actions do sound suspicious, has everything been going okay in your relationship? If you’ve been fighting and she seems unsatisfied, the easiest conclusion is that she might be cheating, right? Well, maybe not – she may just be venting to a girlfriend (or her mother) about your behaviour. What you really need to do when you hit a rocky patch is reconnect. Maybe start a “No cellphone Sunday” where for one day/night/hour of the week, you focus on each other – this way you’ll leave the issue of her digital crutch alone and spend time working on your relationship.

When my girlfriend’s having her period, should I even think about initiating sex?

Sure. If you’re not bothered, maybe she won’t be either – a lot of women are only hesitant because they think their partner will be grossed out. (Some women actually describe feeling hornier during or just before their periods thanks to surging hormones.) Your best bet is to assure her that it doesn’t bother you, adding how sexy she is (we can feel bloated and unattractive at this time of the month, which is usually all in our heads). Give up if she isn’t keen – she might experience extra heavy periods or start to think you’re a freaky fetishist. Be sure it really doesn’t bother you though; chickening out halfway through will be devastating for her self-esteem.