Hi, everyone! I'm Asa Akira, and I’m officially now an unqualified sex and relationship columnist. This is the fifth instalment of Ask Asa, my column for Men's Health. I may not have a doctorate (or a bachelor’s degree,) but I HAVE been having copious amounts of butt sex for the last decade, so I'm here to answer all of your sex and relationship questions. If you have any questions for me, shoot them to Men's Health on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #AskAsa. Don't hold back — I certainly won't.
I’ve been super shy my whole life (I’m 35 now). What advice do you have on breaking the shyness? I’m getting older and want to have kids and get married!
I grew up really shy, and at the core, I still am — so I understand how unhelpful it is when people say, “Just get over it!” or, “All you have to do is gain confidence!”
For me, a trick that’s worked is when I just think of socialising as my job. When I’m in a social situation, I actually pretend I’m being paid to be there and talk to people. It weirdly takes the pressure off of getting rejected, or “failing” to be engaging. Because if those things happen, oh, well, I still did my job.
Of course, the goal is to be engaging; and if there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s talking about themselves. In the beginning, when you’re still getting acquainted with a new person and warming up, ask a ton of questions about them: What do they like to do for fun outside of their job? What kinds of things make them laugh the hardest? If they could only eat one food for the rest of her life, what would it be? It’ll show them you’re interested in who they are as a person, and more importantly, it’ll give you insight into whether or not they're ultimately a good match for you.
Does pineapple juice actually change the taste of your semen? Have you tested the theory?
I’ve tested the theory so much, I’m practically a scientist.
No, but seriously: while I have not found that pineapple juice specifically can alter the taste of semen, most men's health experts agree that your diet affects the taste of your semen, and any sugary or acidic foods can cut down on its naturally bitter taste. That includes lemon, cranberries, and yup, pineapple.
In my own personal experience, I have found that the healthier the diet, the more inoffensive-tasting the jizz; the unhealthier the diet, the worse it tastes. In fact, I am proud to say that once, upon sampling one gentleman's seed, it tasted so bad that I gently recommended he go to the doctor to see where his insulin levels are. The doctor reported he was, in fact, pre-diabetic, and through an improved diet and exercise, he was able to avoid a lifelong disease. To this day, this is still one of my proudest moments.
What's your advice for keeping a relationship alive?
The last time I spoke on relationships, I got divorced (for the second time in my life) a few months later, so my first piece of advice is to take my advice with a grain of salt.
That said, I’ve found that as cliché as it is, the keys to a healthy relationship are honesty and communication. And therapy.
I cannot express how wonderful couples' therapy has been in my current relationship; we started sessions early on, and it has been a truly educating and infinitely helpful experience. I’ve learned so much about myself, my own insecurities and weaknesses, and how to avoid falling into the same patterns I’ve been repeating with other relationships throughout my entire life. It’s given us the vocabulary to communicate clearly and efficiently, and it’s allowed me to be intimate in a way I have never experienced. Every conflict is now an opportunity to grow closer, and in turn, I am having the best sex of my life because my guards are all down.
So final answer, after two failed marriages and and dozens of toxic breakups: Get professional help.
Is it bad to want to have sex everyday? Should I hold out and find a partner who feels the same, or accept the fact that I'll never find that and settle for less?
If wanting sex everyday is wrong, then who would want to be right? Seriously, though, there are definitely women out there that want sex every day naturally. (Hello, me.) In fact, contrary to the stereotype that men have inherently higher sex drives than women do, some studies have shown that women not only desire sex just as much as men do, but that they're turned on by a wider range of stimuli.
How do I last longer in bed?
I don’t have a penis, so I can’t speak from personal experience. But I am a woman, so I can tell you from my perspective: sex is not all about penetration. If you keep us satisfied, we are never going to complain about how long you last in bed, and there are so many ways to do that without relying on plain old penetration.
If you are more on the minute-man end of the scale, mix it up! Go down on your partner, use your fingers, use toys, engage in a lot of dirty talk, etc. If you're having sex and you feel like you’re getting close, take a break and go down on her — that is NEVER going to go under-appreciated. I love a man who uses variety way more than the one-trick pony who just wants to have straight-up vanilla P-in-V sex for 20 minutes straight.
Do you think that the future of porn is activism?
We have seen a huge rise in political action from the porn industry in the last few years. Performers and producers like Jessica Drake, Julia Ann, Jiz Lee, Connor Habib, and so many others have been on the forefront of big issues like the fight for marriage equality and the battle against Measure B, the law that would have required performers in porn to wear condoms on camera. I think this will only continue to rise.
I would also love to ultimately see all sex work legalised. As a porn actor who primarily shoots in California, my work is legal, but that is not the case for escorts or other women who make their living selling sex. Violence against sex workers is remarkably common: in fact, the mortality rate for female sex workers is much higher than that of women in pretty much any other profession.
To me, it's obvious that the very thing that makes prostitution dangerous is the fact that it operates behind closed doors, where it can't be regulated. If we could legalize prostitution, we could finally implement procedures like regular STD testing and background checks. If I want to have sex with a consenting adult for money, it's silly that the government won't allow me to do so. I hope we are soon living in a world where we are all horrified by the way things used to be.