We Answer The Most Googled Questions On... Sex

We Answer The Most Googled Questions On... Sex

Getting answers to questions about sex is not easy to do, so it turns out a lot of us are turning Google for answers. We put the search engine’s most common queries to a sexual psychotherapist, a gynaecologist and a women’s health specialist to put your mind at ease.


What to eat before sex to make it long lasting?

“There are no specific foods that will make you last longer in bed, but often people find it difficult to have sex, particularly longer lasting sex if they have a very full stomach, especially if having more active or rigorous sex. Digestion takes a lot of energy and blood, which is why you can sometimes feel lethargic after a big meal, and that's not a very helpful feeling for when it comes to sex.” – Kate Moyle, psychosexual therapist and sex expert for Lelo

What can I do to be better at sex (female)?

“Get to know your body and what feels good for you. Where for men the sexual and reproductive organ is the same, for women the primary sexual organ is the clitoris which is a part of the vulva rather than the vagina, which is the internal canal between the cervix of the womb to the vaginal opening. The clitoris has 8000 nerve endings so exploring touch, texture and sensation e.g. adding lubricant can help you to then be able to show your partner what better works for you. Good communication between partners is the key for having better sex, if you are able to better show and tell each other what you are like you are more likely to be able to satisfy each other.” – Kate Moyle

What should you do if you have a sexually transmitted disease?

“If you suspect you have contracted an STI or notice a change, then get checked out by a specialist nurse. Common symptoms include discharge, itching, blisters, lumps, skin colour change or anything which you think is not normal. However, there are STIs that don’t give you symptoms, like chlamydia. Go seek medical advice from your GP, local GUM clinic, family planning clinic or private services like ours at The Women's Health clinic. There is nothing wrong with getting a full STI screen and should really be considered part of well person check, especially at the start of a new relationship – consider it like an MOT and safety check.” – Emma Soos, urology nurse and managing director of The Women’s Health Clinic.

What happens if you have sex before 6 weeks after birth?

“If you have sex before six weeks post-birth you should know that things can get a little messy. After having a baby your body will be expelling ‘lochia’, which is a combination of blood and mucus. This then turns into a yellow discharge at around three weeks post-birth. Up until six weeks after birth the cervix is slightly opened and there is a chance this could lead to pelvic infection, so it is advisable to avoid intercourse during this time.” – Dr Alex Eskander, Consultant Gynaecologist at The Gynae Centre


How long after a C-section can you have sex?

“Although you can have sex any time after a Csection, it takes around six weeks for the uterus to return to normal and for the pain from the scarring to subside, so you may want to wait until 6 weeks post birth for your own comfort.” – Dr Alex Eskander

How to increase sex time without medication?

“For a man there are some behavioural techniques that can be practiced, such as the stop-start technique [stopping penis stimulation before ejaculation for 30-60 seconds] which can help you to learn how to gain control – typically this is used as an exercise recommended by psychosexual therapists to help those struggling with rapid ejaculation. The important thing to remember is that foreplay and intercourse both count as sex, so the focus shouldn't just be on how long you last, but rather the pleasure that both you and your partner are getting from the sexual experience. There is not an ‘optimum’ time for sex to have to last for for it to be considered successful or enjoyable.” – Kate Moyle

The focus shouldn't just be on how long you last, but rather the pleasure that both you and your partner are getting from the sexual experience.

How can I feel more confident when having sex?

“Have self confidence in yourself and your body, communicate clearly with your partner, give yourself permission to be in the moment and create a clear headspace for sex. People describe not thinking about anything when they are having great sex, just allowing themselves to be fully focused on the pleasurable sensations that they are experiencing. Anxiety and negative thoughts or distractions only take you away from this and aren't helpful when it comes to sex. If you feel less confident or more self-conscious about your body, then wear something that makes you feel good. Sexy is a state of mind – it's about how you feel.” – Kate Moyle

How often should a couple have sex?

“This is completely couple-dependent, there is no real research to suggest how often the 'average' couple has sex for. A common disagreement between partners when it comes to sex is a different in sex drive or the regularity that couples would like to have sex, and so it's important to work out what you both feel would be good for you. Some couples may have sexless relationships but a very strong sense of closeness and intimacy, and providing this works for them, there is nothing wrong with that. A study by Cindy Meston and David Buss found 237 distinct reasons that people have sex, so it's important to realise that we don't always have sex in the same way or for the same reason and that sex drive and desires can fluctuate.” – Kate Moyle

How do you give a good blow job?

“There are many different tips for oral sex techniques, but the main thing to remember is enthusiasm and enjoyment. Partners most often get pleasure from seeing the other enjoying themselves, whether giving or receiving, and oral sex can play a really important role in a sex life rather than just being focused on as a part of foreplay. The skin is the body's largest erogenous zone, so not just focusing on the penis but touching and teasing all around the area using different techniques such as kissing, stroking or blowing, including the thighs can really increase anticipation and arousal. Building up anticipation is the best natural aphrodisiac we have.” – Kate Moyle


Why has my sex drive decreased (female)?

“The female sex drive is what we describe as responsive, so rather than being spontaneously turned on, we are aroused in response to something like touch, attraction, our imagination or something visual. We must allow these opportunities to happen rather than shutting them down. Many women experience less desire for sex in long term relationships than they did at the start of relationships and so it is important to invest in the time and opportunity with a partner to switch off from everything else going on in life to give yourself the opportunity to get turned on. Many women say that they don't feel like sex, but once they start, they get into it and enjoy themselves which suggests something about allowing ourselves these opportunities.” – Kate Moyle

Why is it important to pee after sex?

“Contrary to popular belief, it’s not important to pee after sex. Many women think that peeing after intercourse will flush out the bacteria that may have been pushed up the urethra during sex, thus reducing the chance of bladder infections, like cystitis. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this theory. If you don’t need to go, no problem!” – Dr Alex Eskander

Some couples may have sexless relationships but a very strong sense of closeness and intimacy, and providing this works for them, there is nothing wrong with that.

Why does my vagina smell bad after sex?

“The vagina shouldn’t smell bad after sex. The only smell should be that of your natural odour and the smell of semen. Any bad smells may be due to a pre-existing bacterial vaginosis infection. If your vagina smells different than usual after sex, it’s important to visit your gynaecologist to determine the cause and to get treatment.” – Dr Alex Eskander

Why is sex important?

“Sexual pleasure is a part of being human, and we do not need a partner to experience this – in the words of Woody Allen, “Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone I love.” But in a relationship, it can make up an important part of physical connection and intimacy. The role that sex plays is unique to each couple – some couples may not have a sexual relationship at all but be happy with that. It is also important to be inclusive and understand that some couples may be limited in their abilities to have a sex life that involves intercourse due to illness, injury or disability, but that does not mean that they can't have a sex life, it might just be slightly different. So, when we talk about sex, we talk about a sexual and pleasurable relationship that moves away from the traditional understanding that sex equals penetration. The meaning of sex will also be different based on who you talk to and that's what plays such an important role when it comes to relationships.” – Kate Moyle


Does sex hurt the first time and why?

“Sex is individual to each and every person, but for some the first time may hurt. This is most commonly due to an intact hymen, a lack of lubrication due to insufficient foreplay, or vaginismus which is an involuntary contraction of the muscles surrounding the vaginal orifice.” – Dr Alex Eskander

Does sex feel better for a man or for a woman?

“There are different sensations involved for both men and women. The clitoris and penis are similar in structure and are actually developed from the same developmental tissue. So, like the penis, the clitoris can expand when a woman is aroused, and the part of the clitoris that is visible outside the body is only a small part of the structure. Men and women will experience sexual pleasure in different ways, as obviously physically and physiologically their bodies are designed differently. However, foreplay is completely essential whatever your sex or gender in helping the body to prepare for comfortable sex and increasing feelings of desire and arousal. In many ways, the better the foreplay, the better the prediction of sex being pleasurable for both parties.” – Kate Moyle

Does oral sex cause cancer?

“Oral sex does not directly cause cancer, but it can spread the Human papillomavirus (HPV) most commonly associated with cervical cancer. HPV can trigger pre-cancerous changes in cells that may lead to throat cancer later. Smoking and drinking alcohol also increase the risk that an HPV infection will become cancerous. However, few people with HPV will develop cancer. The body clears around 90% of HPV infections within two years. Other things to consider are that oral sex can spread the herpes virus. According to the World Health Organisation, 67% of people under the age of 50 have had HSV-1 infection. Lastly, any bacteria in the mouth that is transmitted can increase the risk of a urinary tract infection.”  – Emma Soos

Is it…

Is it safe to have sex whilst you're pregnant? Can you do harm?

“In most cases it is absolutely fine to have sex whilst pregnant and it does not cause any harm to you or your baby. Do remember that there is a baby only about 5cm from the top of the vagina, so be gentle! In some instances, sex when you’re pregnant should be avoided – mainly in the presence of bleeding during pregnancy, especially if the placenta is low and covering the cervix.” – Dr Alex Eskander

Is it ok to have sex whilst having a yeast infection?

“It’s generally not a problem to have sex if you have a mild yeast infection, however, if the infection is severe, the vagina will be inflamed and quite painful. If your yeast infection is severe it is best to avoid sex until after treatment for your own comfort.” – Dr Alex Eskander

Is sex during menstruation good or bad?

“Although it can be considered quite controversial, there is no reason not to have sex on your period. It’s completely safe to have sex during menstruation and is simply down to personal preference whether you do so or not.” – Dr Alex Eskander

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