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Shacking Up and Knowing Your Orgasms

Moving in with your luvah and the mysteries of the female orgasm revealed.
Monday Mar 03, 2008.     By Anna Pulley
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Hi there,

Question for ya. My girlfriend and I have been together for three months, and we're totally, disgustingly in love. Our friends make comments (and faces) about it. My lease is up May 1, and I kinda really want us to move in together. I know it's early but how can I convince her that this would be great for both of us?


A: Well now, if your friends make faces, it must be love! Tell me, do they also hold their fingers to their throats and make dry-heaving sounds? Because, in that case, it's actually irritable bowel syndrome and not, in fact, true love; people often confuse the two.

To broach this subject with a newish lover, you need three things: cunning, heart and a stereotypical cohabitation pattern attributed primarily to lesbian relationships. To sweeten the deal, it doesn't hurt to throw in a copy of Rachel Ray's 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds (which was, coincidentally, the winning cheer of my junior varsity pep squad).

Normally, when I hear about people shacking up after three months, I silently judge them while saying nothing. But, under this hard dating columnist shell lurks a softie prone to crying over the Mulan soundtrack and certain episodes of "The Golden Girls" when Blanche (that saucy minx!) finds love. You've already got one ace up your sleeve: time. The first six or so months of a relationship, "the honeymoon phase" as it were, is the stage where one's judgment is most impaired. It's the perfect time to make irrational decisions based on lust—and also when a person's annoying habits are still cute. (Aw baby, are you masturbating to Season 2 of "Alias" again on my computer? I wuv you, snookem pie!)

You could casually throw into conversations the perks of living in tandem: cheaper rent, double your wardrobe, someone to secure the rubber band while you're shooting up, etc. I also find it's helpful to make statements as if you already are living with the other person, like "Did we pay the cable bill this month?" Often, they will be too startled to correct you, and thus the idea of cohabitation has been artfully planted. Mutual fantasizing works, too: "Just think, if we lived together, we'd have like three woks AND you'd have 24-7 access to my commemorative spoon collection." Bonus points if you have more desirable objects, like a sex swing or a cabana boy, but any old fantasizing will do. Just don't come crying to me when the love haze wears off, and you're suddenly left with a house full of palm fronds and tiny spoons.

Hi Anna,

I'm 24 years old. I've had sexual experiences with several guys, but I'm still not sure if I've had an orgasm. Everyone says, "you just know," which is so frustrating and not an answer! My question is, how can you tell? Really?


A: Generally, I know I'm about to orgasm when my roommate tells me to "stop reading the Bible so loudly, I'm trying to do pilates!" There are many kinds of female orgasms. The most common is the clitoral orgasm, followed by the vaginal O, which often involves g-spot stimulation. Some women claim that they've had orgasms from breast play alone, and there's even a small sect of people claiming to have had "emotional orgasms," which sex educator Shere Hite describes as "strong feelings of closeness, yearning or exaltation." We like to call these people "liars." But take this to heart: Every woman is capable of orgasm.

If you don't masturbate regularly, start immediately. Experiment. Get a vibrator, a crystal wand, a Bratz doll, whatever. If you can get over the many references of the vagina as a "sea shell," "moon goddess" or "grassy knoll," then Betty Dodson's Sex for One is a great resource on masturbation, or as P. Diddy calls it, "making records."

But what does an orgasm look like, you ask? According to, an orgasm occurs "when vaginal and anal muscles spasm rhythmically, causing wavelike contractions that move from the top of the uterus to the cervix." You might also feel a requisite sense of shame and guilt and an overwhelming craving for hummus. But mostly, you should be feelin' groovy. Now stop beating around the bush and start—beating around the bush.

Anna Pulley, our Meet-Market Maven, has been on more bad dates than J. Lo's been to divorce court. She's been a one-date wonder and Wonder Woman. She's bi, and no she doesn't want to sleep with your boyfriend, thanks. When she's not giving advice, she enjoys theme parties for every and any occasion and working as a Carnal Consultant for Early to Bed. Buy her a drink or ask her a question already.


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