sex talk Ask Dr Angela: My boyfriend got upset when he saw me touching myself
Open-minded and practical, Dr Angela Brokmann has answered the nation's sex problems for 18 years. Here, she answers your dilemmas.
While my boyfriend was self-isolating at home for a couple of weeks, I (33) slept in our guest room. At first it was actually nice to have a room to myself, but then I started to feel lonely.
On the 10th night on my own I watched a sexy video on YouTube and then I did something I hadn't done in almost 10 years: I touched myself. It took me a while to get into it but when I finally did, I got carried away and I must have let out a few moans.
My boyfriend heard me, and he opened my door to check on me. When he saw what I was doing he got upset and said I shouldn't do that. He was about to start an argument but I sent him back to his own room and promised we'd talk about it later. But I don't want to talk about it - I'm too embarrassed and I feel so bad for what happened. My boyfriend doesn't want to leave it alone though, he insists that our relationship is in trouble and that we need to talk to sort it.
There is no need to feel bad and embarrassed; it's perfectly OK to masturbate, regardless of whether you are in a relationship or single.
Most people do it, and you had to sleep on your own for a couple of weeks, so you had a good reason. If your boyfriend is still upset have a chat with him to get this out of the way.
Explain how you felt, and assure him that everything is OK between you. Tell him how difficult it is for you to talk about this, and ask him to please never bring up the incident again.
A couple of weeks ago I (37) found a strange note in my letterbox. It said that my partner (45) is cheating on me with a woman from our neighbourhood. It gave the woman's name and address, and said I should go and confront her. Of course I didn't do that, I didn't even tell my partner about the note. But then I got a second one with more details about the affair, like when and where they meet. This time I confronted my partner but he denied everything, he said he doesn't even know that woman. I don't know what to believe anymore.
What if it's all true and my partner is unfaithful? I mean, why would anybody make that stuff up?
Angela says: It's very possible that somebody made up the accusations against your partner; maybe somebody holds a grudge against him or the accused woman? This could be an ex or somebody who has a crush and got rebuffed. It's also possible that someone is trying to play a mean prank.
Talk with partner again; tell him about your concerns. If he insists that he's faithful and if you have no good reason to doubt him, it makes more sense to trust your partner and not some unknown person who puts anonymous notes in your letterbox.
Ten days ago I (39) started a diet. My aim is to lose one stone, but I'm not making much progress. I only lost two pounds so far, and my best friend suggested that my sex life might be to blame.
I give my husband oral sex once or twice a week, and my friend pointed out that it means I'm taking in calories that are unaccounted for in my diet plan.
My husband says that's nonsense, but of course he'd say that. What do you think - can oral sex really ruin a diet?
Angela says: No. Oral sex won't ruin your weight-loss efforts, on the contrary. You only take in around ten calories a session, but at the same time you burn ten times more calories than you consume. So oral sex - the same as any kind of sexual activity - will not ruin your diet, but will help you to lose weight.
If you are worried about the ten calories nonetheless, put a condom on your husband before you spoil him.
My boyfriend (23) wants me to make him ejaculate with my hands. I (25) tried, but I feel too awkward when I touch him like that. He stares at me the whole time and that makes me so uncomfortable that I lose my rhythm and the right touch.
I've tried so many times - in bed, on the couch, under the shower - but I never managed to make him climax.
What can I do to make this work?
Angela says: If you find your boyfriend's eyes on you so unnerving, try a different approach: Snuggle up to him from behind, move your arms around his body and then let your hands glide from his chest to his lower belly. You can either peek over his shoulder to watch what you're doing, or press your face against his back and work by touch only. You can do this lying down, sitting, or standing up - whatever you fancy. Your boyfriend can watch your busy hands, but he won't be able to see your face. So this should work for both of you.
Last summer I (28) spent a week in Spain with five other girls. One night we had a few drinks at the apartment we shared and I drank way too much. I woke up with a serious hangover - and with a sore vagina. Our party was girls only so I definitely didn't sleep with a bloke.
When I told my best friend she laughed and said that I and one of the other girls had messed around with a vibrator. I still can't even remember what happened.
Now my boyfriend has proposed to me, and he wants us to share our sexual secrets. Do I have to tell him about that night? Or is it ok if I keep it secret?
Angela says: Even if you and your fiancĂ© decided to share secrets from your sexual past, that doesn't mean you have to tell everything. You don't remember what happened the night you messed around with one of your girlfriends, so you can't even tell the story from your own experience and memory.
I'd say it's fair enough if you keep this to yourself.
Six months ago my girlfriend (36) left me for another man. A couple of weeks ago she said she still loves me and wants us to get back together. When I (40) asked why she changed her mind, she said that she's seven months pregnant with my child and that she wants the baby to have a real family. I had no idea that she's pregnant. But I still love her and I'd love to be with her and the baby. I'd just like to know whether I'm the dad. Is it ok if I insist on a paternity test?
Angela says: If there is any reasonable doubt then it's perfectly ok. Assure her that the outcome of the test won't change anything between you, but that you need to know whether the baby is yours or not. You have a right to know and she should accept this.
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