Relationships may be more complicated than ever, but the eternal truth is, sex is—and should be—good. In order to help you get the most out of your sex life, you need advice from experts on both sides of the bed.
By Martin Downs, M.P.H., and Victoria Zdrok, Ph.D.

My girlfriend loves sexy lingerie and I love seeing her in it. She’s dragged me into one or two stores to show me what she likes. I think she expects me to surprise her by buying something for her, but I hate shopping. How can I get around this?

The Pet doctor: The easiest way to shop for lingerie these days is online. Find out her size by checking out the labels on the lingerie she currently wears, then search online for the styles that she prefers and order them. Penthouse has an extremely sexy line of lingerie, available at PenthouseStore.com.

If you decide to get a bra and panties, make sure they match or coordinate. If you don’t like to choose, just buy her a gift certificate to stores she likes—you can do that in person or online.

The Downs side: Use the internet. Shopping for lingerie online not only provides more variety to suit your predilections, but after scrolling through page after page of hot models in hot merchandise, you might just be inspired to rub one out before checking out.

A few online lingerie retailers I’d recommend are PenthouseStore .com, of course, Trashy.com, and AgentProvocateur.com. My personal favorite is PeriodCorsets.com, although I’ll admit it’s not for everyone.

Still hate shopping? Then my guess is that you must be cheap or broke. Shopping isn’t so bad if you have some money to spend and you don’t mind spending it. But in my experience, it’s a drag when everything seems to be out of my price range, or if I just don’t feel like opening my wallet.

You might also have developed an aversion to shopping by shopping only with women, which can dull and confuse your natural male shopping instincts. Men tend to shop differently than women do, I’ve noticed. To really appreciate the difference, you should go shopping with another man.

Recently, I had the honor of taking my best friend shopping for an engagement ring. He was planning to propose to his girlfriend the very next day. He had a pretty good idea of what he wanted and how much he could pay. We walked into the store, spent five minutes looking, and spotted the perfect ring. At this point, I think, a woman would have put that ring down, and gone on to spend another three weeks looking at rings at ten different stores, just to be sure she wasn’t missing a better one. But what did we guys do? I said, “Yeah, it’s a beaut.” My friend said, “Yeah, it is, and I can afford it.” I said, “Buy it.” He bought it, and we left. All in all, we spent maybe 20 minutes in the store. And do you know what? It was the perfect ring. His girl loved it, and she said yes.

The moral of the story is that guys can shop, and can even enjoy shopping, when allowed to shop like guys—which is to say, like commandos.

But before you embark on a lingerie-shopping mission, it’s important to first gather intelligence on sizing. If you overestimate her size, you imply that she looks bigger than she is. Underestimate her size, and you’ll make her feel bad when she can’t squeeze into the garment. Either way, you fail.

To be confident in your purchases, collect as much information as possible. It’s not enough to know, for example, that she wears a size medium T-shirt. You need to know her bust, waist, and hip measurements, her height, approximate weight, dress size, and bra band and cup sizes.

There is no straightforward way to obtain this information. To simply ask for it would be tacky. It must be gathered by stealth. The cleverer you are about it, the greater the impression you’ll make when, as if by magic, you produce lacy/silky/leathery underthings that fit her perfectly, proving to her that you’re a guy worth wearing them for.

Submit your questions about sex, relationships, and women to Martin and/or Victoria at sexed@ffn.com.
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