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Help! I Have a Sexual Fetish

Dear Armchair PsychologistI'm a divorced woman, and I have been with my wonderful and funny boyfriend for two years. We both have young kids who are close in age, and it's been such a blessing that we have been able to co-mingle our families. We also bought a cute weekend country house together so we can have alone time together. But I have a situation that I am struggling with. I have a sexual fetish, which I've had for a long time. My question is how can I move on from this sexual fetish or develop a new one that can include my boyfriend? Also, are fetishes something that is innately within you that you simply can't help?- Stuck In My Head

Dear Stuck In My Head,

It's great to hear that you have found happiness after divorce and that your children are adapting to your new life with your boyfriend and his kids. Having sexual fantasies or fetishes is extremely normal, although they often carry a stigma. A UK study commissioned by erotic retailer Ann Sumner in 2016 surveyed over 2300 people and found that 75% of all people have at least one sexual fetish. A fetish is not something you're born with; many studies show it is actually a learned behavior that can manifest at even an early age.

One scientific theory is that there sometimes a sort of brain overlap that causes certain body parts to become associated with sexual interests like, for example, a foot fetish — the most common fetish. Neuroscientist Vilanayar Ramachandran, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego, found in his study that the brain areas that control the genitalia and the feet sit very close to each other in the brain's body image map. And when a cross-wiring happens, one develops an attraction to feet.

Your fetish might not be a one that involves toes, but I can assure you that it is healthy to have one. It concerns me that you want to "move on" from your fetish, rather than introduce your boyfriend to your inner sexual life? You say you might want to develop a new fetish that includes him, but this is easier said than done. What prevents you from including him in your current fetish? Is there a possibility he might not want to indulge in it? Do you feel guilt or shame? If so, it would be a good idea to consult with a qualified sex therapist on how to navigate your sex life. For now, here's a great step by step by Dr. Jeremy Nicholoson, a social/personality psychologist, on how to introduce your fetish to your partner and in the process increase trust and intimacy. Stay sexy!

- The Armchair Psychologist

Help! My guy can't climax — is it because I'm ugly?

Dear Armchair Psychologist,I've been dating and sexting a guy for a few months and we were both heavy and hot for each other over texts. The moment finally arrived for us to meet at my apartment and have sex, but he couldn't cum. I've been googling "delayed ejaculation causes" and am not sure what is going on? This incident has left me feeling gross, insecure, and rejected. Is he not attracted to me physically? Was it because he had smoked a bit of weed? I feel so unattractive now, yet he swears up and down that it has nothing to do with what I look like, rather that he needed "time to bond with me before sex." I know that he's into the stripper, fake lips, fake boobs archetype, and I look nothing like that. I confronted him about this whole debacle of no-cum and stripper affinity, but he said I'm overreacting. Should I continue dating this hot mess of a man?- Not Satisfied

Dear Not Satisfied,

It's unfortunate you feel bad about yourself as a result of the lackluster ending to your night of copulation. Sex comes with a plethora of complexities that vary for every individual, including delayed ejaculation, which could have many underlying reasons both psychological and physical. Sure, marijuana could have been the culprit, as studies have shown smoking it can cause "difficulties in men's ability to orgasm as desired." Sure, it could have been that you aren't sporting DD's or bulging lips, but he knew what you looked like before meeting you. Sure, it could be that he's only able to perform via text and he suffers problems that prevent him from real-life engagement.

I am leaning towards the fact that your date simply needed to get to know you better, which he expressed to you, and needed to establish an emotional connection before WhamBamThankYouMam-ing you.

It's understandable you'd be disappointed after this much-hyped tryst, but what concerns me most is your low self-esteem. You are feeling worthless and unlovable due to what many would call a mere bagatelle, a romp gone stale. This isn't reason enough to clamp down so hard on yourself, and I suspect the problem lies deeper within you. I'm sure you're a wonderful and beautiful person. It is not easy to live with low self-esteem or recognize that you may suffer from it. You can measure your self-esteem through the famous Rosenberg test here. It is worth noting low self-esteem is a super common problem that many people suffer from. The reason you should examine your low self-esteem is because it can be a definitive factor in how and what relationships you seek out, as well as to your own happiness. I recommend you speak to a therapist who specializes in this area. In regards to the "hot mess of a man" aka your date, you should give him another chance, if he's still available and hasn't already run for the hills after your intense reaction to his shortcomings.

- The Armchair Psychologist

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Ubah Bulale