Common bedroom mistakes made by men, with, of course, gentle corrections

DO NOT ASK, “WHAT DO YOU LIKE?”

…the first time we have sex. It’s our third date. Okay, so maybe it’s only the second, or maybe we just met in an elevator. At any rate, we’re making out. Pants are coming off, eyes are smouldering. You ask this question and, bam… the magic is gone. First, I am embarrassed. I may have been ready to have sex, but not so up for talking about it! Second, I feel pressured to provide a provocative answer, something involving toys or systematic humiliation, but the only thing I can think of to say is, “Well, Steve, I suppose I like manual and oral stimulation followed by intercourse resulting in my eventual orgasm.” Finally, I am annoyed. Are you trying to sound sexy, wild, open to anything? Because if you are, won’t I eventually discover that?

DO… ask questions later. Questions help an ongoing sexual relationship move forward. They slow a new one down.

DO NOT STICK YOUR TONGUE IN MY EAR

The innocent, unfortunate ear (a) is a semi-discreet spot, (b) is a hole and (c) has folds. For these reasons, it has been ill-defined as a major erogenous zone. This is one of the great misperceptions in the history of Western civilisation.

DO… tread lightly. I’m not saying never go for the ear. Just not every time. When you do, the ear is to be kissed gently, maybe licked on the edges, or nibbled with restraint. Then you can leave it alone. It’s an ear.

DO NOT TRY TO STUFF YOUR SEMI-HARD PENIS INSIDE MY VAGINA

I understand: you’re hoping it will get harder once it’s in. Or you’re thinking that if you act like everything’s fine, then everything will be fine. Or maybe you’re treating your penis like a stubborn teenager – you’re going to show him who’s boss and send him to his room. The only thing more humiliating than stuffing a flaccid penis inside someone is being stuffed by a flaccid penis. In this one wretched act, we can feel all of your fear, desperation and insecurity, concentrated in the precise place where you want us to feel something else.

DO… anything but this. Kiss. Watch The OC . Order a pizza. Unless it’s a recurring problem requiring medical or psychiatric attention, it’s not a big deal. Really.

DO NOT REACH FOR MY CLITORIS

…if you are in a position that is unsuitable for such a connection. Like when I’m clearly enjoying whatever we’re doing. Or, say, if you’re in the lounge watching TV and I’m in the kitchen making brisket. Such persistence is not admirable; it’s annoying. It’s good that you know clitoral stimulation is important. Now you need to know that if it’s not done right – the right angle and pressure, the right motion – then it doesn’t feel good, and it may even hurt.

DO… ask. It might help to take her hand and say, “Show me what you like here”. Then you can follow the motion of her hand, or she can guide yours until you’ve fi gured it out. In certain positions, a woman just doesn’t want stimulation there, or prefers to do it herself.

DO NOT SHAVE YOUR BALLS

Having sex with a guy who shaves his balls is like riding a horse with a saddle made of broken glass. If you are going to shave, you’re going to have to do it regularly. Say, every half hour.

DO… embrace your hairiness. Unless you come up with a dignified solution – and they are expensive – try to accept your body hair. You’re a guy. Your great great- grandfather was a gorilla.

DO NOT HAVE A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

about ejaculating too fast, losing your erection or not being able to get one. An occasionally temperamental penis is no cause for alarm – but a guy who freaks out about it is. (If you make a big deal about it, we’ll start to think maybe it really is a big deal.) Conversely, it’s also not a good idea to act as if nothing happened, because, well, that is just bull, and that never flies.

DO.. acknowledge it, then laugh it off. The guy who says, “Wow, I usually only last for five seconds, so that was a record” or “Gee, I guess those amazing anti-erection pills I got online are working” – that’s the kind of guy who makes us want to try again. Later.