Tracey Cox solves the six common sex dilemmas

Alas, love does not guarantee great sex – which is why even couples who think the world of each other struggle when their heart and other parts can’t agree.

While I can’t make decisions for you – only you know all the individual quirks that make your relationship unique – I can offer some advice on these complicated quandaries awaiting the most innocent of couples.

Should I leave if my partner can’t give me an orgasm?

I’m going to make two assumptions here.

First, that you’re a woman reading this because most men rarely have orgasm problems. 

Second, that you’re probably straight – lesbians have a way (way) higher orgasm rate than straight couples.

Sex and relationship expert Tracey Cox provides her solutions to some of the most common problems people face in between the sheets

Now we’ve established that, here’s my take on it.

It’s one thing ditching a man who makes absolutely no attempt to find out why you haven’t climaxed or doesn’t try to rectify the situation.

Quite another, dumping a lover who spends every waking hour desperately scouring the internet for sure-fire orgasm techniques and practically dislocates his tongue trying to make it happen.

Let’s be clear here: no one can ‘give’ you an orgasm. You have to take one for yourself.

That means learning how to orgasm through using a vibrator or masturbation, then showing him how to do it with his fingers.

You then need to show and direct him on how to use his tongue – and explain that you need certain positions (which hit the front vaginal wall) or an extra hand (or finger or vibrator) to help you climax during intercourse.

He also needs to know that having an orgasm during penetration is the hardest time of all for the majority of women.

All this puts the responsibility for orgasm back on you – which is where it should be. It’s your body and your orgasm!

You have to speak up and communicate what it is you need to tip you over.

Tracey says that your orgasm is your responsibility 

Tracey says that your orgasm is your responsibility 

Sure, there are some men out there who are such experienced lovers they’ve mastered a technique which does it for most women.

But a good lover doesn’t mean he’ll be a great partner and leaving a man who can’t give you an orgasm because he doesn’t have a clue what you need or want, is a bit like chucking away a diamond necklace because you can’t work out how the clasp works.


Which is worse: having boring sex or no sex at all?

Continually having mind-numblingly boring sex, isn’t doing either of you any favours.

Lots of reputable sex therapists are all for couples stopping having sex altogether – well, for 30 days anyway.

Sexual abstinence can help kick start a lagging love life because sometimes we’re so set in our toxic sex and relationship patterns, the only way out is to wipe the slate clean and start over again.

If your sex life is in a dire state, I’d highly recommend finding yourself a good therapist (try or who will fine tune a sex detox for you.

If you like the sound of time out from sex but don’t want fancy such a structured approach to it, ban any form of sex for two or three weeks to give yourselves a complete break.

Then enforce a ‘no intercourse’ ban for the month following.

If you’re forced to focus purely on foreplay – using just your tongue, hands, fingers, mouths – you’re likely to be a damn sight more inventive than your usual rushed, obligatory fondle-and-feel on your way to the ‘main event’.

Banning anything makes it more appealing so by the time the month is over, you should both be gagging for penetrative sex.

Oral sex is unavoidable according to Tracey and denying your partner of it rejects the 'core of the person'

Oral sex is unavoidable according to Tracey and denying your partner of it rejects the ‘core of the person’

Indulge, then move straight into a ‘no oral sex’ ban for the next month. After that, ‘no hands, just tongues’ and so on.

This not only keeps things interesting by introducing the ‘unavailable’ element that makes sure-thing long-term sex so boring, it forces you to find new ways to orgasm so you’re not just relying on one.

The more different ways you can orgasm, the more you’ll generally have.

Do I have to give my partner oral sex?

I approach this with some caution because I’ve been slammed in the past for saying yes, you really do.

So instead I’ll say this: it’s a really good idea for both of you to give each other oral sex. Here’s why.

Refusing to give oral sex to your partner isn’t just taking away a hugely satisfying part of sex – for women often the only way to orgasm – it rejects the core of a person.

Call it ‘disgusting’ or say you don’t like doing it and you might as well say, ‘Your genitals disgust me. I don’t like how they look and I don’t like how they taste’.

Thirty-six per cent of women and 31 per cent of men feel insecure about the appearance of their genitals, according to a new poll of 1000 European and Americans (by Zava Med) about what made them uncomfortable during sex.

Oral sex is the most intimate part of sex – you’re literally taking your partner’s most private part into your mouth.

Relish in the taste, texture, smell and experience of getting as close to them as possible, and you’re showing the highest level of acceptance there is.

Even if you don’t particularly enjoy doing it, it’s something you do to give your partner pleasure – not every sex act is about your pleasure.

Though the give and take of oral sex needs to be relatively even, as well as equal in enthusiasm.

What are some easy ways to boost your sex life?

Use a dirty weekend as a reward for something (one of you gets a pay rise, you’ve just finished a renovation etc). If a sexy weekend follows a success or celebration, you’ll condition yourself to enjoying them more because they’re always associated with good times.

Record your favourite fantasies and use the tapes as part of your sex warm-up. Have it playing as you enjoy a glass of wine together or put it on in the car on your way back from dinner with friends.

Make a list of your current favourite sex things (position, toy, fantasy) and stick them inside a cupboard in the bedroom. Both do it and constantly update for variety. Want to try something new? Add it to the list so your partner knows what you’re craving and can surprise you.

Put some thought into your sex life. Think, ‘What can I do tonight to make it different?’ Little changes – like doing it at the opposite end of the bed – count for more than you think.

There’s no such thing as too tired for sex. Have it before you get too tired – in the morning or before you go out rather than after. Or turn yourself on mentally and have a lazy session. You don’t always have to be swinging off chandeliers.

Be open-minded. Be prepared to experiment. What was a turn off with your last partner, might be a real turn on with this one.

Don’t be unrealistic about sex. A good balance to aim for each ten sex sessions is that two will be great, four will be good, two will be so-so and two mundane or disastrous. If you’re not having any disasters, you’re not trying enough new things.


Research shows when men and women are asked how often their partners give them oral sex, they rarely agree on the number.

Both sexes overestimate how much they do it and underestimate how much their partner does it to them. It’s perception – we all think we give more than we get.

If your partner refuses to give you oral sex, ask why.

Worries over smell and taste are easily fixed by having a shower first, washing properly and getting treatment for any infections.

Her worries of choking are fixed by him not pushing the back of her head and her using her hands and choosing a position to control how deep he goes.

Worries about swallowing are fixed by stopping before he does and finishing him off with a hand.

Don’t make your partner beg for oral sex. Be generous.

And make sure you’re good at it: it’s one act where technique, experience and skill count for a lot.

Could an affair save my sex life?

There’s a theory that having sex on the side can keep married/long-term relationship sex hot.

I am the daughter of a marriage broken by an affair so highly unlikely to agree with this – for lots of reasons, not just personal ones.

Ironically, it’s not the actual infidelity that’s the nail in the coffin for relationships where one of you have been unfaithful.

It’s the lying that most people can’t live with.

Having an affair to spice up sex with your long-term partner is a really daft idea – on the other hand, there’s no getting away from the fact that affair sex is often very good sex.

One reason affairs are such a turn on is that they share many of the elements sex at the start has: adventure, newness, someone you haven’t done 10,000 times already.

You anticipate and plan sexual encounters.

These are strategies you can steal to recreate affair sex with your very own partner.

Affairs teach you the value of anticipation and reflection: you grab sex when you can and it’s not usually frequent, so you spend most of the time either reliving the last time you had hot sex or imagining what the next will be like.

Both things you can do as a happily settled monogamous couple.

Affairs also teach you to plan sexual encounters: you plan where to meet – a seedy hotel or a posh one. You think about what you’ll wear, what underwear he’ll see when he peels off your clothes, what champagne you’ll bring to dribble over her breasts.

You think about what you can do to them to really impress. You plan, you think things through.

Did you hear the words ‘plan’ and ‘think things through’?

Affair sex isn’t spontaneous sex, it’s planned sex.

Which is why it drives me utterly insane when people screw their noses up when I tell them to plan sex with their partners.

‘Eww. How….forced. I’d never enjoy that,’ they sniff.

Oh really?

Affair sex is often very hot sex and nearly all encounters are planned.

Having an affair can save your sex life – just make sure it’s with each other.

If you’re a fairly new couple, does sex with your ex count as cheating if you’re still ‘transitioning’?

Of course it does – and it can have disastrous consequences for all involved if you do sleep with an ex when you’re starting something with someone else.

It might not feel like you’re being unfaithful to you, because it’s not with someone new, but it will feel like more of a betrayal by your new partner because there’s history and feelings attached.

As for your ex, they might well interpret what you see as a one-off as you wanting to rekindle the relationship.

This means you have to break it off (again) and explain to your new partner why you’re suddenly getting plaintive text messages from your ex when you broke up months ago.

If you get found out – and the chances of this are higher than if you’d had sex with a stranger, who isn’t going to feel the need to write that long, incriminating email that’s necessary to give them closure – you’ll either lose your partner or kiss goodbye to any other relationships with exes because they won’t trust you.

Which would be a tragedy because ex-lovers often make shrewd, perceptive friends.

It’s a lose-lose situation: don’t go there if you want a future with the one you’re now with.

How do I suggest a threesome without losing my partner in the process?

To say you need to tread carefully and tactfully when suggesting a threesome to someone you love has to be the understatement of the century.

Even if they’re always joking about it, doesn’t mean someone really wants to try it.

It’s macho for him to think he could handle two women or be cool enough to have another man in the bed: faced with it happening in reality, all sorts of unpleasant fears creep in.

Ditto you owning up to a bi-curious fantasy of wanting to know what it feels like to sleep with a woman versus him arranging for it to happen.

The two scenarios are hemisphere’s apart!

If you do want to risk suggesting a threesome, pretend you read something online about them and how they’re becoming more common.

Then ask your partner, ‘What do you think about them?’.

Their reaction will tell you everything.

You might get ‘I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse’. (In which case, don’t go there.)

You might get ‘Each to their own but I can’t understand how people do it with someone they love’. (In which case, don’t go there).

Or you might get a cautious but curious, ‘I’m not sure what I think of them. What do you think?’

This is a scenario where you are safe to proceed – with baby steps.

Answer with ‘I’m not sure either – I reckon it would be sexy if you both could handle it. But I wouldn’t want to do anything that would harm our relationship.’

They’ll take it from there if they are up for one.

If you do decide to go ahead, always, always, practice safe sex, never have a threesome unless both of you want one and make rules about what is and isn’t allowed.

Stop if either of you get upset and have a code word that actions this immediately.

Visit for more sex advice and to see Tracey’s Edge and supersex product ranges.