Dear Hump Day,

Throughout college I have noticed a strange phenomena within my close group of friends. We all somehow get intertwined with the same guys, and it has really started to get out of hand. Is it possible for a guy to like two girls at the same time? What is the deal with all of these love triangles?

Thanks,

Two Girlfriends and Cucumber Salad

Not only is it possible TG&CS, it’s quite common and the reason is very simple. Despite the well-known phrase of “opposites attract,” the reverse is true. Like attracts like. Your friends, especially your close friends, share a lot of similar interests. That’s why it’s so easy to hang out with them. Unfortunately that can get tricky when you all seem to like the same guys and when the guys all like the same girls. Regardless of gender, people can like multiple people, love multiple people and even play together with multiple people. The complications arise when some of those people don’t want to do certain things in multiples.

So what’s to be done? Well, it depends on your group of friends. For some, it can be a breach of trust and loyalty if a friend gets all touchy-feely with some other friend’s dude. For others, it can be simply another shared interest that brings the two — or three or four — of you even closer together.

Talk to your friends. If sharing causes rifts in your friendships, it may be time to set some boundaries. No doing a dude until three months after your friend has stopped sleeping with him. You can only call dibs on a guy or girl if you’ve already kissed them. Whatever you decide, make sure that it’s agreed upon by all.

Of course, if a person is attracted to someone, denying and forbidding that attraction sometimes only makes it stronger. Perhaps it’s time to expand your group and add some new friends who have completely different tastes in bedroom buddies.

Dear Hump Day,

How do you know if you suck?

Thanks,

Best Sucker

That question, BS, goes through almost everyone’s head, especially the first couple of times the clothes come off. You think, “He’s too quiet!” or “It’s taking longer than usual” and “She should be wetter than this.” Of course things will be different and potentially more complicated with a new partner. You’ve only just met. Honestly, you can’t know that you suck in bed until you’ve had several sessions with that partner and don’t make any effort to communicate or respond to your partner’s needs. And then again, even after several sessions, the issue may simply be the chemistry is no longer there.

Now, I know you may have worries about your partner faking it. It’s actually pretty hard to fake pleasure. Our bodies change temperature, the skin gets goose bumps, muscles tense and relax, our breathing changes and we may even moan. People do respond differently to pleasure so it’s always best to simply ask, “Do you like this?” and trust your partner will be honest enough to tell you yes or no. (To potential partner: Be nice. Constructive criticism only!) If your partner lies to you about your performance in bed, well then, it’s his or her loss.

Sucking is completely situation and partner specific. One partner may really want you to lick his pinky while another partner may hurl if you even touch her hand. The key to sucking well (the good kind of sucking) is communication and dedication. Lick an area and ask if that feels good. Alternate pressure, touch and speed and be aware if your partner pulls away or pulls you closer. An orgasm typically involves the tensing and releasing of muscle tension. Reactions and strength may vary, so notice if there is any tension in the legs — aka they are wrapped tight around you — or if the vagina, anus, balls or clit are tensing and releasing or pulsing.

But occasionally, BS, as one of my friend’s once put it, “Sometimes two people just don’t jive.” If that’s the case, either reread the Hump Day column two weeks ago about getting better in bed despite not initially enjoying it or find someone else to suck on.

Quick plug: There is a Senate hearing Thursday, Oct. 29 regarding the Healthy Youth Act. If passed, this legislation would require schools in Wisconsin teach medically accurate, evidence-based sex education. Remember your sex ed class — if you ever had one, that is — when your gym teacher pulled out a tampon, stuck it in water and waved it around? Or showed grotesque pictures of extreme genital warts in the shape of cauliflower? Let’s ensure our younger friends and potential kids don’t have those same experiences. The hearing starts at 9:30 a.m. Contact Jennifer Olenchek at (608)289-3751 or [email protected] if you have any questions.

This article was written by Nicolette Pawlowski. Nicolette is a graduate student in EPS and a sexual health educator. She likes triangles and gladiolas. All questions are from real readers. Keep ’em coming! E-mail: [email protected]