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[Two Pronged] Making sense of my sexuality

Rappler's Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.

Jeremy has a master's degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives

Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons. 

Dear Dr. Holmes and Mr. Baer,

Hello, I’ve been a big fan. But I have a deep and intimate question about what I am really. I want to know your insights if this is normal or should I do

something “to correct” this mindset. Here goes:

I am already 26 years old, I have already made out with multiple women (serious, fling, one time thing), but all I can do is oral sex and that’s it. 

I am also a frequent masturbator, like doing it. I watch porn and read  articles/research about satisfying women during sex. 

I have many instances that have “almost” resulted in sex, but I was afraid and still am. 

Afraid of unplanned pregnancy even with protection, so I “back out,”  even when my partner and I are naked  in bed. 

I do oral sex or play with myself and my partner using my hands and fingers and I’m quite satisfied just doing that. 

I take gratification satisfying them sexually without penetration. 

But when I’m alone I’m always craving for sex, like really doing it, I have fantasized doing it with friends I find attractive but I don’t act on it. I always masturbate to satisfy that craving. 

Is this normal? 

I also think that I have great self restraint since I haven’t done anything to hurt anyone or  my partner to satisfy these “fantasies.” I also read about “asexuality” and I think that I am because being an asexual really fits me (i think). I want to know your thoughts. 

Thank you! 


Dear Bob,

Thank you for your email. Asexuals, according to Psychology Today, are people who “have no sexual attraction to either sex  (and never have), and typically do not engage in sexual activity with others.”

Your account of your sexual activity to date would seem to suggest that you are, by no means, asexual.

Your other issues are no penetrative sex, fantasies, and masturbation. You suggest that your unwillingness to have penetrative sex is because of your desire to avoid unwanted pregnancy. If this is true, you should be lauded for your zeal in achieving your goal. 

However, you might spend some time considering why you think this is an issue at all. You are happy avoiding pregnancy and you say you are satisfying your partner, so all is good, isn’t it?

As for fantasies, they are a rich part of our lives. Whether it is imagining telling our boss or parent just what we think of them when they really irritate us, or imagining the revenge we would wreak on those whose driving causes us particular stress, for example, there are probably times every day when most of us fantasize.

We learn, however, that there are some fantasies we can indulge (e.g. having an ice cream when we get home after a hot journey) and others that are best to leave alone (e.g. shooting the neighbor’s noisy dogs or strangling the boss).

Sexual fantasies stimulate us and a wise person learns to distinguish between harmless ones he/she can reveal and those likely to cause alarm or suspicion or offense (tip: if in doubt, keep your mouth shut).

Finally masturbation is a frequent issue, usually prompted by moral concerns. Our recent column may cast some light on this. 

Please write again if you have further questions. 

All the best,

JAF Baer

Dear Bob:

You seem not only honest, but intelligent enough to have discriminating taste – you are a fan, after all ☺ – so I shall take all you say at face value:

  1. You “can only” do oral sex. This suggests that even if you want to you doubt you might be able to. This is perfectly understandable/ normal, especially for a virgin.
  2. You frequently masturbate, like doing it, watch porn, read about satisfying women – all also normal.
  3. You stop yourself from intercourse because you fear pregnancy, even with protection (this is an uncommon, but normal — albeit unlikely to happen with adequate protection – fear).
  4. You take gratification satisfying your partners sexually without penetration (not all THAT normal—especially for men who only get and not give oral sex (thus, not you)—a lovely, unselfish attitude  
  5. When alone, you crave sex and fantasize about doing it with female friends that you find really attractive, but you really don’t act on it. 

A possibility is that you may be greysexual (grey-A: people who can enjoy and desire sex, but only under very limited and specific circumstances (in your case, oral sex).

If this possibility worries – or even just makes you slightly curious – please write to us again. 

All the best,

MG Holmes


Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.