By Shelby Horton

Dear Shelby,

I am overweight, and I think my weight is affecting my ability to be attractive to men. I’ve tried losing weight, but it’s not working fast enough and I feel ugly because of it. What should I do?

Dear feeling “fat,”

Being a girl who is bigger, or “fat” doesn’t mean that you’re unattractive. Those are just some insecurities that have been planted in your head. I’m a bigger girl myself, and changing the way you think about yourself can really affect your self-image. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re losing weight to improve your health, that’s great, but if you’re just losing weight to make other people like you, be sure you really want this.

This is what I recom-mend; take a look at yourself in the mirror and make a list of what you love about the way you look. This way, you know that you do have some very attractive features.

Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful when you go out. Use makeup that makes you feel confident.

You’re not going to be attractive to everyone. We all have different tastes in who we are attracted to. But that doesn’t mean you have to put yourself down. You’ll find someone, but for now, learn to love your own body before you love someone else’s.

Dear Shelby,

I am a gay man and my boyfriend wants me to buy a “penis-ring”, what is that? And does it actually help during sex?

Dear confused,

A penis ring is an elastic device that is designed to make men last longer during sex, due to the constriction it creates around the penis. This product is usually used by men who are suffering from premature ejaculation, or erectile dysfunction.

According to Dr. Derbby Herbenick, a sex researcher at Indiana University, if you’re lasting at least 10 to 15 minutes before ejaculating, then that is completely normal.

Be aware, there is little to no research that proves penis rings can improve lasting ability during intercourse. I wouldn’t recommend this product without sitting down and talking to your partner about it. Besides, there are better options out there than this one. Talk to your physician about this.

Dear Shelby,

Is sex an important key to a relationship? How unhealthy could sex make the relationship depending on how much or lack of sex the couple has?

Dear Expectations,

It depends on each individual’s view on how much sex will matter in their relationship, and if the amount could affect the way their relationship goes.

There are plenty of couples who are very happy with a sexless relationship, which is defined by having intercourse less than 10 times a year.

There are couples who have a healthy relationship, even if they have to have sex more than twice a day. It all depends on the individuals.

However, a relationship could become complicated if one person finds sex to be important to them while the partner doesn’t really want it as much.

Dear Shelby,

What are some tips to communicating more effectively so that your partner understands your needs in the relationship or in the bedroom?

Dear pillow talker,

To communicate effectively with your partner, be blunt and honest about your feelings as much as possible.

There is no benefit in bottling up your feelings, and letting them spill out like an avalanche all over your partner when one day he forgets to do the dishes.

Sit down with your partner to discuss whatever you feel like even if it’s just about how his or her day was.

Make this a habit.

And remember: You need to be a good listener in order to make a relationship the best it can be.

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