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SEX CETERA: How to dump pal's whiny girlfriend from group trip?

Q: My husband and I occasionally go away for a weekend with another couple that we're friends with. We all get along really well and have a great time. This August we're heading to the beach for a few days. Now a longtime single friend of my husband has a new girlfriend and wants to join us. I like the friend, but I can't stand his new girlfriend. She's shrill and pushy and will ruin my vacation. My husband says we have to include them. Is he right?

Steve: No, actually. I'd say your husband should discuss this with both you and the other couple, since they are also impacted by the addition of a third couple. Try to work out a compromise: Perhaps a shorter, one-night stay separately with Ms. Pushy and boyfriend.

Mia: Perhaps it's just too late to include them? Could you tell them that you've already booked a house or something and there's no room for two more? Or you could try to do it at a time that would be inconvenient for them. If they end up coming, maybe you and your husband could do another trip just the two of you, to unwind.

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Q: My new boyfriend loves dirty talk in bed, but I feel ridiculous doing it. Is there a way for me to get over my anxiety?

Mia: Vodka might help ease some of your nerves. Practice saying words like "big" and "hard" in a sexy voice. He probably won't need much to get going.

Steve: You talk dirty when the car doesn't start or you stub your toe, right? So, you're already halfway there! If you find it interferes with your own enjoyment, however, tell your boyfriend so that part of your lovemaking focuses on you.

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Q: You advised a new dad to get the new mom to have sex by spending time away from the baby. I think you should have consulted some mothers who have been in this situation. (Steve, did you ask your wife? Mia, have you had any kids?) If the baby is nursing, the new mom may feel "touched out," kind of like burned out. She's probably tired, and just wants to sleep. I know that's how I felt. I'm not sure when my husband and I had sex after our first was born, but I know it wasn't frequent that first year. What I would suggest is they talk about it. The new dad may gain some perspective.

Mia: Well said. It's good to hear from an actual mom.

Steve: I think we can all agree that communication and understanding is crucial in this situation. However, I can say with certainty that some mothers DO appreciate time away from baby to have a romantic overnight with their husbands.

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Q: My best friend and I are going to the same college this fall. This may sound crazy, but what if we both fall for the same girl? I have heard of this happening and ruining friendships. Should I talk to him about this or am I being silly?

Steve: It's not a bad idea to set some ground rules (i.e., first guy to mention the girl's name gets exclusive rights) but I have to tell you, finding dateable women (or men) in college is not going to be a problem. Thus, harming your friendship over just one makes no sense. Eligible partners in college are like SEPTA buses. Another one will be along in 20 minutes.

Mia: Also, swapping girlfriends and boyfriends happens more often than you think in college. I'd be amazed if you make it through four years without you and your friend sleeping with the same girl. (At different times, I mean!) Don't we all know couples who met because one of them was dating the other's friend? It happens.

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