Ask the Doctors: Is He Too Small for Me?

Dear Dr. Carol and Dr. Charlie,

I am writing to ask for some help. I am in a very good relationship for 2 years. But we are having some troubles with the sex life! I would say that my boyfriend is a bit on the small side and as a result I do not feel him all the time and I have a harder time to get excited. We have also another challenge, when we first start to have sexual intercourse he would ejaculate quite fast because he would get too much stimulation even if I would hardly touch him. With practice this got much better and he can last longer; but now as we are having sex he just starts to become soft. So he being a bit on the smaller side and then getting soft, it makes it hard for me to feel him and stay excited. I also noticed that I feel him better when I want to go to the restroom (to pee!!). There is probably something physical about that but I was wondering if we could reproduce the same feeling when I do not want to pee.

I have to say that sometimes I do not get excited, and do not want to engage in any sex activity and that is getting me very frustrated. However I want our sexual life to get better because I really feel good with everything else in our relationship.

I have been talking with my partner about all of that but it is a hard subject which I understand however I feel that if we don’t make progress, we will both grow frustrated. My partner does not really want to talk about those topics with anybody; even with me he sometimes gets quiet and close himself. I had gone to see a sex therapist to look for advices but he would not want to come with me. I would like to try whatever I can so we can improve our sex life. I know that I have to try to change my mindset and not focus on the size, not focus on not feeling him ¦ but I also feel that he has to look for solutions. I want to help him, understand why he is getting soft but he does not talk much and sometimes it almost look like it is not an issue for him. So there, I am writing to see if you would have any advices for me, for him and for us. I am not really sure where to start, but I am willing to read books to improve my mindset, go to workshops, use toys, practice new positions, learn about techniques ¦ I am sure there are other persons in those situations, what did they do? I just want to believe we can make it better!

There are three main ways I think you might be able to address this. The first has to do with how much you engage in what is sometimes called “foreplay”–and whether you incorporate this into your actual intercourse. If he (or you) is touching your clitoris, and/or he is regularly stroking his penis across your clitoris while you are having sex, you will add to your stimulation without your pleasure being mainly derived from how full your vagina feels. If you two try intercourse with him stroking into you several times, then withdrawing and stroking across your clit, then going back in, you might both really enjoy it.

Next is the question of your own vaginal muscle tone. You can do exercises that will affect this, and they may also make your orgasms feel stronger — so they are very worthwhile! They’re called “Kegel” or “PC” (short for “pubococcygeal”) exercises, and you do them this way: Identify the muscle by stopping the stream of urine when you pee. Then tighten and release these muscles every day — start with a couple of sets of ten, and work up to more. As the muscle gets stronger, it will also get more flexible, and you will be able to tighten down on him during intercourse; this will probably make you able to feel him much better than you do now. If you want a toy that can help you do these ecercises, try one of these: Betty’s Barbell or  Smartballs.

Third, try these positions: When he is on top of you during intercourse, instead of spreading your legs widely, wrap your ankles around his lower legs and pull him into you tightly. This will bring the two of you very close together and his penis will ride up closer to your clitoris. Both of these elements makes this position good for a situation like yours.

A tighter variation of that position: cross your legs, while you are lying on your back, and have him thrust into you that way, with your thighs together. Instead of kneeling between your legs, he will have his knees on the outside of your thighs. Or he can get behind you, and you can keep your legs pressed together as you bend forward. This way he can also stroke against your clitoris from time to time.

Also, sometimes deeper thrusting might help, because for some women, it isn’t the girth that matters as much, it is whether the penis reaches the cervix. (Not all women find that feeling of the penis on the cervix erotic — but some definitely do.) He can get deeper into you if he kneels between your legs while you lie back and put your legs over his shoulders. You might need to raise yourself up on a pillow like the Wedge to get at the correct level for his penis. Then, in this position, you can add more tightness by putting both legs over one of his shoulders — again, you are closing your legs so that your vagina is not as open as in a legs-spread position.

Finally, about the sensation you have of needing to pee. This could be one of two things. It could be that your bladder gets very full and actually presses down from the top, making your vagina smaller (or at least more sensitive) while it’s full. You might try putting your hand on your belly, just above your pubic bone, and pressing downward to see if that changes your sensation while he’s inside you. It might also be possible that you are feeling G-spot sensations, which, when a woman is aroused this way, can lead to the sensation that you need to pee. The G-spot is on the front wall of your vagina, and for some  women, having intercourse with a man who’s got a shorter penis allows that area to get stimulated much more than having sex with a longer guy —  longer penises slide right past this area, usually. Soon my sex education video about the G-spot, “Gush: The Official Guide to the G-Spot and Female Ejaculation” will be available at Good Vibrations. Until then, you might want to look at a book or another video about this, like one of these:

Finally — about the issue of him going soft: This might have a mental basis; some men, if there is any stress about sexual issues, will respond this way. You don’t say how old he is; sometimes, also, guys who are middle-aged and older will begin to need more direct stimulation to the penis, which you can add with your hand. He might be willing to try wearing a cock ring, which sometimes keeps a guy harder, and can also add pleasure for him because the “squeeze” of the ring feels nice to him. It may also be that you can put your hand around him like a ring, at the base, and squeeze gently, adding enough hand stimulation to keep him hard during intercourse with you.


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Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at

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