It’s Hump Day again, and you know what that means – another round of sex questions, another round of sex answers.

In the past, I’ve prioritized answering your sex questions over your relationship questions (this is, after all, a sex column). But this week, I decided that I’d answer questions not about romance, but about the way that sex changes, complicates and otherwise impacts relationships not just with your partner, but with others around you as well. Here goes.

If I don’t feel comfortable doing all the kinky, sometimes degrading things that my boyfriend sees in porn, will it change the way he feels about me? Will this make him disappointed in our sex life?

First, consider that most people know the majority of mainstream porn isn’t real. While this may come as a surprise to some, most people realize that a woman who is literally choking on a man’s penis and has tears running down her face isn’t really experiencing that orgasm she’s sounding out. That being said, part of the appeal of porn is that it portrays something happening that the viewer knows can’t happen in his or her real life – things they would never expect their partners to actually do.

It sounds like the problem here may be more of a communication issue than a sex issue. Is your boyfriend actually demanding that you do things you find degrading, or are you simply feeling intimidated by the things you see happening in the kind of porn he watches? If he’s trying to manipulate you into having a kind of sex you’re uncomfortable with, drop this asshole. But if he’s not trying to coerce you, talk to him about how you feel. Try to find out: Is watching this type of porn around you his way of hinting that he wants to try new things in bed? If so, talk about some of the kinkier things you’ve both been dying to try and then give them a shot.

One of the things I love most about my girlfriend is that she’s never afraid to let me know when I’m doing a good job in bed. I guess you could call her a “screamer.” But it really bothers my roommates how loud she is when we have sex. I’ve tried to tell her to keep it down, but she says she can’t help it. I’ve tried explaining to them that she can’t help it, but they’re still angry. What should we do? Who’s right here?

In my opinion, no one is right or wrong in this situation – it’s more a matter of establishing and respecting an agreement with your roommates. To be honest, I’m torn on how to answer this, because part of me says it’s no one’s business who you have sex with, when, where, why, at what time of night, how loudly, etc. But the other part of me remembers living below an obnoxiously loud, continuously inebriated couple that always had sex around 4 a.m. and she, too, was a screamer whose late-night moans of delight made me want to fucking kill myself. So I see both sides.

Here’s what you should do: Sit down with your roommates and your girlfriend together, because it seems like you’ve been playing messenger between them to no avail. Ask them exactly why they’re upset (my guess is that like most people, they just want to sleep), and agree on which nights of the week are “quiet nights,” during which you and your girlfriend promise not to wake them at all hours. Also agree on which nights are not quiet nights (likely weekends), during which they can’t complain about the noises coming from your bedroom. Yes, talking about it is going to be awkward, but if you value your friendships with your roommates as much as you value your relationship with your girlfriend, you need to find a way to respectfully meet the needs of both.

My parents are pretty strict Christians who taught my brother and I to wait until marriage to have sex. My little brother, who’s a freshman in college, had sex with his new girlfriend and is worried about whether he contracted a Sexually Transmitted Infection. He wants my parents’ support, but is worried his choice not to wait until marriage will upset them. Should he tell them?

Oh boy. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do, but you know your parents better than I do. Gauge how you think they’ll react to this news and weigh the risks and benefits of telling them. Are they extreme enough in their beliefs to cut him out of their lives? Or is it possible that they’ll understand that – spoiler alert! – 20-something students at college have sex sometimes? Regardless of what you guys decide, go with your brother to University Health Services to get checked for STIs (for free and in confidence), and make your decision after you get the results.

How do I tell someone I’ve never met that I’m attracted to them without being a creep?

I can’t speak for everyone, but “Hi, I think you’re beautiful/attractive/interesting/sexy/etc.” would certainly do the trick for me. Sometimes the best way to approach someone you are attracted to is simply by being honest. If you like her style, tell her. If you like his hair, tell him. But use common sense. If you like the way someone’s penis bulges against his pleats, tone it down a bit. All jokes aside, just talk to the person. No, this does not mean adding them on Facebook and then silently following their status updates for the rest of your life. Just go say hi.

‘Til next week, Badgers!

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