Dear Di,

First of all, I like how I have sex. It’s simple—I’m on top and she’s on the bottom. There’s nothing more exciting to me than routine. But boy do I get some grief from my friends (and my girlfriend) about this. At this point it’s actually starting to affect my relationships with them. I feel nervous when my girlfriend and I are going to bed because I know she’s going to want something which I don’t know how to give her (sexually). Do I have to spice things up? What if missionary is all I want? Is there any way to make things more exciting without taking it too far?

—Mission Impossible

Dear MI,

First thing’s first, your girlfriend’s opinion on your sex life should be your primary concern. I suggest you start things off by having a conversation with her about what you guys both want in bed. Of course you don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with, so make sure to communicate to your girlfriend what your boundaries are.

If you are interested in changing things up a little, in addition to asking your girlfriend what she likes you can try watching porn together—see if there’s anything else that piques your interest! Sometimes, seeing someone in apparent ecstasy from a certain position can make it seem a lot more appealing than reading up about it.

That said, there are still ways to have sex missionary-style and while spicing things up. First off, have your girlfriend change up the positions of her legs, with one or both perched over your arms and around your shoulders. Another tip is to slide a small pillow under your partner’s butt to allow for deeper penetration. You can also keep things exciting by switching up when or where you have sex with your girlfriend. If you guys usually go at it before bed, try having sex in the morning or scheduling an afternoon rendez-vous à la Mad Men in a nice hotel.

Before I go, I want to address the issue of your friends. What a lot of people don’t realize is that even though sharing details about sex and relationships can be part of a good friendship, it’s not surprising that your friends’ negative opinions on your sex life are causing a strain in the relationship. Try talking to your friends (or if it’s more comfortable, one or two of your closer friends) and let them know how you’re feeling. They probably think it’s all in good fun, and would be surprised to hear your side of the story.

Don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple in bed, if that’s what gets you going. We can’t all be into handcuffs and whips ;)

Dishing with Di: What a fun guy

The bamboo fungus is a type of mushroom found in southern Asia, parts of Africa, the Americas, and Australia. This mushroom, aptly named the phallus indusiatus, in addition to being rich in proteins, carbs, and fiber, might give you an orgasm. According to a 2001 study in the International Medical Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms*, six of the female participants reported experiencing a mild orgasm after smelling the shroom, while the other 10 reported an increased heart rate. However, men in the study did not have the experience, reporting that the smell of the mushroom was displeasing. But before you go hiking in your nearest wooded area, keep in mind that the results have not been replicated in any other study.

*The electronic copy of this study was not available via link at the time of this publication.