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Sunday, January 6, 2013

A relationship and trust

I am over 40 and seeing a divorced woman over 50- she has been divorced for over 8 years. She belongs to a health club, that I am against her going to, the reason why is because over the years she has had many intimate encounters with men there in the past, including a sexual romp with a trainer there, that she says he no longer works there. I have asked her to go to another gym, but she wont, she claims that gym is very convenient for her, and there are no all female gyms in the area, but there are a few co-ed gyms, I have no issues with her going to another coed gym. What do you think? Why won't she give up that gym? Do I have a right to be upset that she goes there- knowing her past at this gym?

Confused

Dear Confused,

This comes down to a question of trust. Despite her past relations, it's still her right to go to the gym (of her choosing) and there isn't much you can do about it. That said, you have a right to ask if she is still hooking up with the other members. And if she is, it is certainly within your right to tell her it bothers you.

If she cares about your relationship she will at least try to come to an agreement that works for both of you. And if you can't, then it's time to find another woman.

However if she tells you she isn't fooling around with anyone at the gym, you have to trust that answer.

Good luck, and please report back with your follow-up.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

How do I get an ex back?

You might be asking yourself this same question if you've recently broken up with your girlfriend, or your girlfriend recently broke up with you. The realization sets in, and you start to miss the partner you once had. Sure, it wasn't perfect, but what relationship is? The fog of loneliness clouds your better judgment and suddenly you can only remember the good times...

Before you become the desperate ex-boyfriend, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Why did we break up?

If your relationship went sour, there is a reason (or many reasons). Sit down and think seriously about it. Stop moping for five minutes and conjure up some of those bad times. What happened? Why did it happen? What could you have done differently? What could she have done differently? If you can't answer these questions, then what do you expect will change if you get her back? Figure out why it didn't work the first time, and if it can be done differently. Otherwise, there is no point in even trying.

2. Why do I want her back?

Now that you've got the bad stuff down, start thinking about the good times. Not about how good you feel around her, that's the cloud of loneliness talking again. What do you actually like about her? What qualities make her the amazing girlfriend she is? If you can't come up with five reasons why she's awesome, then don't bother getting her back. You'll be better off with someone you appreciate as more than just "that other person in my life".

3. How was our relationship at the beginning?

Depending on how long you were together this can be a tough one. Think back to the very beginning, when you first met. How did you behave? How did she behave? Were you more shy, or more aggressive? Was she more flirty, or more innocent? To get her back you have to recreate the person you were at that time. That's the person she fell for, and that's who she's going to fall for again. Whether it's you or another guy, it's most likely going to go down in a similar way. But you've got the inside track, because you already did it once.

4. When did our relationship start to go downhill?

Okay, so you remember what it was like at the start, but people change. How did your personalities shift as time went on? What were you like after 1 month? 6 months? Two years? Was the relationship rocky at the beginning? When did it start to go downhill? Determine the peak, where both of you were on the same page and you felt untouchable. Doves took flight and rain clouds parted when you were together. Capture that moment in your mind, and embody it. You want to be that person again, and you want her to be that person again. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen faster than it did the first time. Woo her with a few first dates, then show her you really are that person she once loved. She will in turn return to the person she was in that moment.

5. What can I do differently this time?

This is the most important question. You've already determined when and why the relationship went sour. You know who she was and why she's worth it. You know the moment it all fell apart. Now, what are you going to change? How are you going to take the relationship down a different path, to avoid it happening again? Maybe by listening more, and trying to understand her point of view in an argument. Maybe it's through counselling, and working out your issues with a therapist.

If you made it through these five questions, congratulations, you're in a better position to decide on the future of your life with (or without) the other person. Sometimes it just doesn't work out, but you can move forward knowing you gave it your best shot.

Either way, feel free to send us your own relationship questions in the future, whatever they may be.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Is virginity important?

Traditionally, a woman's virginity is saved for her future husband as a way to consummate the marriage. Christian groups introduced purity rings in the 1990s to symbolize a young woman's promise to practice abstinence until she finds a husband. More recently, father-daughter purity balls have been attracting attention from the media for placing virginity center-stage (literally) in a dramatic ceremony where the father pledges to protect his unmarried daughter's purity.

Today, virginity is often worn as a badge of shame, with adolescents rushing to lose it as soon as possible. Shows like Virgin Diaries and movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin place further emphasis on virginity as something to get rid of.

Not to say that absolutely everyone is embarrassed by their sexual inexperience. This week, a Brazilian woman sparked controversy when she posted her virginity for sale at an online auction site. This was part of an Australian documentary examining "a different side of what normally constitutes prostitution".

In the same vein, New York Magazine recently test drove a fake hymen. Marketed as a way to "marry [with] confidence" or "spice up your marriage life", the device was already the subject of religious discussion in Egypt, being labeled a "violation of Muslim honor".

So yes, it would seem virginity is still important to some. The better question; is it important to you?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Insecure about small boobs

We received a two-part e-mail from Steve about his friend's breast size:

Dear Editor, I have a very, very, good female friend. Her background is a little loose and I sometimes wonder about how she sees herself. She is very flat chested. I've read that women check each other out, perhaps even more than men do. I've also heard women make rude remarks to women who were not well endowed. My question is two fold, do you think this has been an issue with her (if one answer fits all women) and do you think it would be ok if I approached her on the subject?

I asked for some more detail and Steve provided these examples:

Sometimes when we've been out she kind of gives a look when we are waited on by a good looking waitress or somehow someone is around. I have also heard her comment on her "big" boobs and once she told me she didn't care what she looked like. I'm not sure how to read this or maybe I am interpreting it the wrong way. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for the question Steve. It does sound like your friend is a bit self-conscious of her breast size. If she's as good a friend as you claim, I don't think discussing it is outside the realm of possibility. I'd avoid making a big deal of it. Maybe next time she speaks mockingly of her own chest you can mention that not everyone is drawn to larger assets. There are a lot of men think small breasts are wonderful, and many more who don't care one way or the other.

Breast size will always take a back seat to confidence. If she's happy with herself, that happiness is projected onto everyone she meets. Guys and girls alike will pick up on that energy and see her as a more attractive person, regardless of how large or small her breasts might be. Disregarding Hollywood's portrayal of the perfect woman can be a challenge, but there are still plenty of reasons to love small boobs.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Misogyny Online

Last weekend, women around the world gathered in Seattle, Washington for the second edition of Geek Girl Con, a conference dedicated to women in geek culture.

The conference featured geek staples like gaming and cosplay, but also touched on some more serious topics, like sexism on the web and the portrayal of women in video games. Jarrah Hodge from Gender Focus (a feminist blog) has a two-part entry detailing these discussions.

Among the panel speakers was Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, a Youtube channel and blog examining the portrayal of women in pop culture. Sarkeesian has recently come under fire from online communities who don't approve her message. Specifically, the backlash targets her recent Kickstarter campaign raising funds for a documentary analyzing women in video games. The retaliation has been ugly at best, and criminal at its worst, with Sarkeesian on the receiving end of rape threats, and graphic, doctored photos.

This may seem an extreme example, but threats and harassment affect women daily in all manner of online forum. While pop culture continues to make small steps towards equality for other victims of prejudice, gaming and the web seem stuck in the past. When will the tide shift?

What about you? Have you been the subject of sexual harassment online?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Should I tell my girlfriend I'm a virgin?

Excerpt from a forum post over at Plenty of Fish:

I met a woman that I really like. We are dating but haven't had sex yet. Should I tell her that I am, well, a 27 year old virgin? (If so, when and how?)

Personally, that's something rather unattractive and a bit of baggage for telling someone one does not know very well yet (like known each other for several months well). On the other hand, this doesn't seem to be the sort of thing you wait till things are hot and heavy or till after she figures it out to say "Oh by the way...".

Is male virginity unattractive? I think not. At least not to everyone. Some people may find it a turn-off, but there are others who find it intriguing ("how did you go this long without having sex?") and appealing ("now I can teach you everything I know!"). It's nothing to be ashamed of, or announce quietly into your boots when the time comes

With that in mind, when is the right time? Revealing virginity falls neatly in the pile of topics that you shouldn't discuss on a first date (probably second and third too depending on how fast the relationship progresses). But unless you've been amassing an untold wealth of sexual prowess subconsciously in your sleep, the time will eventually come.

Most women will notice your inexperience early and either ask you about it, or continue merrily on unfazed. If she doesn't ask, then don't feel you have to bring it up. However, if the sex is a little rough around the edges, then by all means ask her what she likes, and maybe mention that you haven't done this all that many times. She will probably be more than happy to guide you toward the spots that make her feel the best.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bigger isn't always better

Shay explains why size matters in the bedroom:

hi my question is embarrassing and worrying, recently I've been having sexual encounters with a man who's alot different from my last partner. His penis is how shall I say incredible thick and even though the sex is quite painful I'm having another worry. The condoms we have been using I think might be breaking and I heard the larger gentleman create more chance of pregancgy. I just didn't know I'm starting to think bigger isn't better! Is all this true

Thanks for the question Shay. You have nothing to be embarrassed about, especially if sex is causing you discomfort. The only way you will solve the problem is by talking to others. You can discuss this with your doctor to see if there are any exercises or positions you can use to ease the pain. ShareCare also has some tips on how to avoid pain during sex if your partner has a big penis. At the very least you should talk to him and make him aware of the problem. That way he can go slowly and make sure he doesn't hurt you.

As for your fear of pregnancy, rest assured, a bigger penis has no influence on your chances of becoming pregnant. That said, if the condoms are breaking you should definitely invest in some larger ones to accommodate his size. A broken condom is a sure-fire way to end up with an unwanted baby. If the condoms really are too small, he's probably experiencing some discomfort as well. Consult this condom size chart and choose the right one for your partner. You'll both appreciate it.

Best of luck, and don't hesitate to write back if your situation changes. Your advice can help others in the future!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What is she thinking?

Eugene questions the inner-workings of the female mind...

My on and off again x girlfriend of 7yrs has asked me to a co xmas party.After breaking it of 2. 1/2 years ago she has allowed me to stay intouch with her twin sons and she did go to a concert with me this summer.My mother just passed away and she came to the funeral to support me.The next day she called and asked. If I would go with her.I must tell you I still have a lot of feelings for her.I haven't dated anyone sense her and niether has she.And I'm sure she knows I still have strong feelings for her.Please what is she thinking?

With seven years of history you don't need to tip-toe around her like this. Take these questions and ask them directly. Tell her you still have feelings and find out what she's thinking. She probably does too. Discuss it until you're not wondering anymore.

How are your breasts doing today?

Received this one-liner from one of our younger readers:

do women care about men asking about their breasts

I can't say I'm entirely sure of the context, but I'm fairly certain women do not generally appreciate their breasts being a topic of discussion.

But maybe this is an outdated notion. Maybe we should talk about breasts in casual conversation. Cancer research loves promoting breast health awareness, and this could be another way of accomplishing that. An appropriately timed "how do your breasts feel?" could remind the owner of said breasts to perform a self-exam and check for lumps.

Start the movement. Ask someone you know about their breasts today!

My boyfriend is texting naked pics to his ex-girlfriend?

Continuing the photography theme, here's another e-mail from one of our female readers.

Me and my boyfriend have been together for 3+ years. In general, he is wonderful, and maybe I'm just a naturally, somewhat jealous person. Depends, I think. Anyway, he does have a few girlfriends he keeps in contact with through text, most of them now living out of state. But the other night I was bored and thumbing through the picture galleries on his phone, because I thought I'd find random, everyday run of the mill pics on there of us, maybe his family, himself, his geckos, etc. Lo and behold, there were other girls on there in bra and underwear shots, boob shots, cleavage shots, and worse, found a pic of him having a personal Kodak moment with his erect penis. Should I assume he took this pic to send it out to someone? I mean, what guy would take a pic of that and just store it in his gallery???


It does seem a bit strange to have naked pics of himself on his phone, and if it was the only one I wouldn't assume it was for sending to his exes. He may just have been checking himself out. However, his having pics of other people on there definitely suggests that his self-shots are for trading purposes. You should ask him what the deal is. Maybe he's got an exhibitionist tendency and he's using the phone as an outlet. Maybe he's uncomfortable talking to you about it and would much rather be trading pics with you. Open the discussion! It's important for your relationship to get to the bottom of this.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.