Darling,

I can't wait to be alone with you tonight after the kids go to bed so I can ...

Need a little help filling in the blanks? Maybe you're blushing already.

Relax. Don't worry, says sex expert Dr. Hilda Hutcherson.

"Women should feel deserving of pleasure," says Hutcherson, author of the popular "What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex." "It is a birthright."

In Hutcherson's new book, "Pleasure" (Penguin Group, $25.95), the sex expert gives advice on keeping sparks, spice and satisfaction in your intimate life and answers the most revealing questions about sex.

A longtime gynecologist and a professor at Columbia University, Hutcherson, with her first book, released in 2002, landed on the Oprah Winfrey show and other talk shows. In her follow-up book, she turns up the heat by talking about the Big O, fantasy role play and step-by-step guides to writing erotic letters and mastering various positions.

We recently spoke to Hutcherson by phone.

Q: A lot of women see sex like doing a favor for their husband. Why is that?

A: We've been brought up to be good girls, and good girls don't love sex, and we've been taught to believe that our duty is to please our partner. I try to turn that around. Sex is just as important for women. After being married for a while, the sex can be quite routine. Women might have some memories or an idea of what they would like to experience, but they don't have the nerve to ask. That's why I say, ask for what you want.

Q: A lot of your book gives tips for satisfying sex. But what advice do you have for busy couples who are juggling jobs and kids and are tired? How should they deal with these challenges?

A: As a mother of four, I know it's not easy. The first thing you need to do is make it a priority in your life and keep in mind sex is needed to keep the relationship fresh, happy and bonded. Just like you pencil in your child's piano lesson, you pencil in sex. Get a baby-sitter, send your kids to Grandma's house or maybe meet for lunch. People say it sounds contrived to plan sex, but I say planned sex is better than no sex, and you have the anticipation, so it makes it better and more exciting.

Q: How did you go from being a gynecologist to a sex expert who is comfortable giving step-by-step advice on sexual techniques?

A: Certainly in medical school, we didn't talk about sex. We talked about the bad things, like diseases, or we talked about unplanned pregnancies. Initially, when I started my practice, women would ask me things, and I would blush. They would say, "I've always had male doctors, and I think I can ask you this," and they would ask me about a sexual technique, and I would think, "You really do that?" And it kept happening, so I knew I had to educate myself. It ended up being a liberating experience — I researched and read as much as I could. I spoke to a lot of women and my girlfriends.

Q: What are your thoughts about watching TV in bed?

A: You should never have TVs, computers or work desks in your bedroom. Your bedroom should be reserved for sleeping and sex.

Q: You talk in your book about women being too preoccupied about the Big O.

A: Many of us feel inadequate if we don't have an orgasm every time we have sex. Orgasms are wonderful, but sometimes we focus so much on the goal of orgasm that we lose much of the pleasure of the sexual intimacy. In many ways, the journey toward orgasm is so much better than the actual event.

Q: What are some of your favorite techniques to keep the spark going and ones we can share in a family newspaper?

A: [Laughs] Let me think. Well, I like surprises, like leaving little notes in my husband's coat pocket and the note will be erotic and say things like, "I can't wait until later tonight ..." And they're not little "I love you" notes. [Laughs again]

 
 
 
 
By Jamie-Rivera 01/07/2006 19:04:00