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Why was I turned on when my sex partner took a phone call? Plus: Defining the “presome” and orgasm timing.

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Q I'm a 45-year-old straight male. Politically and socially, I consider myself an ardent feminist. There is nothing I enjoy more than giving a woman an orgasm or two. I'm very GGG and will cheerfully do whatever it takes. Fingers, tongue, cock, vibrator—I'm in. If it takes a long time, so much the better. I'm OK with all of that. Now and again, though, I really like a quickie, a good old-fashioned "Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am!" The only ladies I've found willing to engage in those cock-centric acts are sex workers. I'm OK with that, too.

But the last time I paid for it, with a woman I had patronized before, I was just about to slip my cock in doggy-style when her phone rang. It was in reach, and she picked it up! I hesitated, but she didn't pull away, and in fact pushed back a bit while she answered. I figured this was what I came for, so I proceeded. Her cavalier attitude toward being fucked from behind while having a trivial phone conversation wound up being a huge turn-on for me. By the time she finished her 20-second call, I was finished as well. I hadn't come that quickly since I was a teen. She laughed that she should take calls more often. What kind of beast am I that I really enjoyed such utter indifference? Does this reveal some dark secret deep in my psyche? How can that mesh with my otherwise feminist views? —Premature Ejaculation Needs Some Introspective View Examined

A First, PENSIVE, "enjoys giving women orgasms" sets the bar for "ardent feminist" just a bit low. So here's hoping your feminism involves more than penetrating a willing partner with your fingers, tongue, cock and whatever vibrators happen to be lying around. Because if your feminism doesn't include support for pro-choice policies and candidates, regular donations to Planned Parenthood, backing equal pay for equal work, speaking up when other men say shitty/rapey/dehumanizing things about women—and more—then you're not a feminist, ardent or otherwise.

Moving on. Why did it turn you on when the sex worker took a call during your session? Because it did. Turn-ons are subjective and mysterious. People who are curious about their turn-ons have to start with "this turns me on" and work backward from there. And to figure out why a particular fabric/adornment/attitude/scenario arouses us, we use the only tools available to us—guesswork and self-serving rationalizations—to invent a backstory that makes some sort of logical sense, and then we apply it to something (kinks, turn-ons, orgasms) that really defies logic.

So if I were to hazard some guesswork on your behalf: Being treated with passive contempt by someone that you are supposed to be wielding power over (the woman you're fucking, a sex worker you've hired)—being subtly humiliated and mildly degraded by that woman—taps a vein of eroticized self-hatred that makes you come quickly and come hard.

And while that's wonderful for you, PENSIVE, it isn't proof you're a feminist.

Q I'm a 29-year-old gay trans man. On female hormones, I took a long time to come and usually wouldn't come at all. I always enjoyed sex; I just wasn't focused on coming. My partners would or wouldn't, depending on their preferences. Since starting testosterone a few years ago, I now come quickly and easily. My problem is that after I come, like most men, I'm done with sex. And the stronger the orgasm, the truer this is. Awhile ago, after a really fun time, I woke to find that I'd accidentally fallen asleep and left my longtime hookup buddy to fend for himself. Other times, I'm just tired and/or turned off. I definitely don't want anyone inside me (it hurts), and while I've tried mustering enthusiasm for blowjobs, hand jobs, etc., my attempts come across as pretty tepid. So in the context of both ongoing relationships of various sorts and hookups, what's the etiquette? I've found myself just avoiding things that'll push me to come, because I don't want to be rude. And since I've always enjoyed sex without orgasms, this doesn't bother me mostly. But once in awhile, I would like to come. —Not Good At Sexy Abbreviations

A Use your words: "If it's not a problem, I'd rather come after you do—my refractory period kicks in hard when I come and, like other men, I briefly lose interest in sex. And I'm a terrible actor. So let's make you come first or let's try to come at the same time."

Q My wife and I are bisexual—we're a man and woman—and we've been tiptoeing right up to the edge of organizing a threesome or swap through 3nder. But we haven't gone through with it yet—too many flakes and fakes. But we have no complaints—just contemplating a threesome has put amazing energy back into our sex life. Is there a name for the explosive sex you have with your longtime partner when you're anticipating a group scene or threesome? If not, can we suggest the neologism "presome"? Rhymes with threesome! —Married With Anticipated High Jinks

A The phenomenon you describe—the insanely hot sex a couple has before a threesome or other sexual adventure—has been noted by sex researchers and couples counsellors. Margie Nichols, a psychologist and sex therapist, told the New York Times she frequently urges the non-kinky couples she sees to emulate kinky couples. "Kinky couples plan sex," Nichols told Amy Sohn, "and simmer for days in advance."

Many couples in the planning stages of a threesome do a lot more than simmer: Like you and the wife, MWAHJ, they find themselves having hot twosomes in anticipation of the impending (and hopefully hot) threesome. I think "presome" is a wonderful term to describe that kind of sex—I'm officially endorsing your proposed neologism—but I don't think it works as well for four-way swaps, group sex, BDSM play parties, etc., because it obviously rhymes with/riffs on "threesome." But it's an excellent term to describe the situation you and the wife are in.

To describe the sex you'll have in the wake of your first successful threesome, I would propose the term "postsome."

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