va23-vspot-20151
Local sex columnist Yana Tallon-Hicks‘ written sexpertise uses humor and wit to treat our sexual hangups, growth and education as a natural, fun part of our everyday.

V-Spot: Am I Getting Ghosted?
May21

V-Spot: Am I Getting Ghosted?

Dear Yana, Lately I’ve been in what I can best describe as a situationship; I want more and know that I have a lot to offer, but he semi-recently got out of a relationship in which his ex hurt him and he’s now scared and doesn’t want anything like that. We used to talk/text all the time. He would come over to my place at least once a week, we would sleep together, and it was pretty much a relationship without the title. But recently...

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The V-Spot: My Vagina is Ruining My Relationship
May14

The V-Spot: My Vagina is Ruining My Relationship

Hi Yana! I’ve been with my partner for about a year, and in most ways our relationship is everything I want. We communicate really well, we have a great time together, our sex life is amazing, and I always feel supported by him. The problem is my vagina. For the first time in my life, I’m dealing with a variety of uncomfortable vaginal issues, most frequently yeast infections and BV (bacterial vaginosis). The onset of these...

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V-Spot: My Haircut is Dictating My Sex Life
May08

V-Spot: My Haircut is Dictating My Sex Life

Hi Yana, I have a sex question! Over the past year, I’ve noticed a pretty substantial shift in the way people think I like to fuck and I’m having difficulty confronting it. It’s probably a common experience that when people make a change to their outward appearance (for me, cutting my hair short), that people then make different assumptions about how they like to have sex. It started with my last partner who was a long-time partner of...

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The V-Spot: WTF even is college dating?
May01

The V-Spot: WTF even is college dating?

Hello Yana! I’m looking for advice on navigating college relationships. I’m a young lesbian and I’m trying to consolidate not feeling in a good emotional place for a full romantic relationship with also looking for physical intimacy. I had a short relationship earlier in the year and I don’t feel like I’m in a good time in my life to both take care of myself and keep my grades up and also maintain a healthy and loving relationship...

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The V-Spot: Help me flirt with an Aquarius!
Apr23

The V-Spot: Help me flirt with an Aquarius!

Hi Yana, Okay. I gotta know. How does one flirt with an Aquarius? There’s an Aquarius male that I like … and I’m a really bad flirter. I don’t do well with flirting because I’m trying to overcompensate with my intelligence to offset my sexy social media presence. Like, I tend to talk as intelligently as possible with dudes because I don’t want to be mistaken for naked on the internet = unintelligent. I don’t want to be mistaken...

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V-Spot: Help Me Kick My Hitachi Addiction
Apr17

V-Spot: Help Me Kick My Hitachi Addiction

HELP YANA! I’m addicted to my Hitachi! I’ve had a primary partner for just under a year. The sex is awesome, intimate, and fun. However, very rarely can I have sex and get off without using toys, and I think it’s starting to frustrate them. I don’t have a lot of clitoral sensitivity as it is, so my Hitachi is always involved. I don’t want them to feel like they are taking a back seat to my toys, or for them to feel disconnected...

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V-Spot: Teach My Nice Guy to Play Rough
Apr09

V-Spot: Teach My Nice Guy to Play Rough

Writer’s note: This column contains mention of rape/non-consensual sex. Hey Yana!! I’ve been dating the sweetest guy. Well, sweet in ways that he always helps with housework, takes care of my dog for me, and is ALWAYS there for me. He’s a solid and loyal dude which is kind of a different pace than what I’m used to. He’s a shy boy. He’s 30 years old and I may be the only real girlfriend he’s had so far. We’ve been together a little...

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The V-Spot: My Boyfriend is … Tied Up
Apr04

The V-Spot: My Boyfriend is … Tied Up

Hi Yana, I’ve been dating a new guy for about four months. He’s honest and makes time for me. He’s also really exciting, and after going through a lot of painful previous relationships, I actually feel safe with him. Our sex life is amazing, and he encourages me to try things I’ve never tried before! And I’m having orgasms! With a partner! For the first time! There’s only one problem: I’m not sure...

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V-Spot: I’m Hesitant to Receive Touch
Mar26

V-Spot: I’m Hesitant to Receive Touch

Content Warning: This column mentions childhood and adult sexual abuse and violence. Hey there! This is a question but also a need for some clarity and reassurance. I’m a 20-something bi female living in Portland, Oregon. I consider myself a sexual, curious, and sex-positive person. My boyfriend and I of five years broke up last year and then got back together. I’ve always had issues (at least after the initial passion wears off in a...

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The V-Spot: My BF’s Back Pain Killed Our Sex Life
Mar19

The V-Spot: My BF’s Back Pain Killed Our Sex Life

Hi Yana! I’ve been with my partner for a year. He’s in his mid-30s and has some chronic back pain from a sports accident that happened a few years ago and he still takes pain meds for. Our sex life is nonexistent right now. We agree we both want more sex and that his back issues get in the way because for him, it’s hard to get the motivation to initiate sex. I’m generally a pretty sexual person, but for some reason I can’t bring...

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V-Spot: I’m Feeld-ing Threesomes
Mar12

V-Spot: I’m Feeld-ing Threesomes

Dear Yana, In my post-big-breakup dating life, I’ve decided to start using Feeld [a dating app that’s basically Tinder for couples and singles seeking to be matched for threesome arrangements]. I’ve always been open to the idea of a three-way both sexually and as a triad relationship style. However, I identify as a queer/bisexual woman and am noticing that with so many couples on this app, both the man and the woman in a hetero-paired...

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The V-Spot: How Do I Find Someone Who’s Got Their Shit Together?
Mar06

The V-Spot: How Do I Find Someone Who’s Got Their Shit Together?

Hi Yana, I’m no longer satisfied with the type of love I attract. After my most recent heartbreak, and having to face the thought of getting back on the online dating horse, I’m willing to admit that something isn’t working here, and it might be me. I’m incredibly understanding and non-judgemental, but in the dating world that often leads to me accepting men into my life that may not have theirs totally together. My...

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Valley Advocate Podcast: The Lifestyle of a Sex Columnist
Feb26

Valley Advocate Podcast: The Lifestyle of a Sex Columnist

Yana Tallon-Hicks has been writing the Advocate’s sex and relationship column, The V-Spot, for seven years. It’s something she enjoys greatly, but she says it isn’t exactly the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle some people seem to think it is. She is also a freelance sex educator. In our weekly podcast collaboration with Amherst Media, Yana talks about the state of sex education, how she uses cookies in her sex teachings,...

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The V-Spot: My Lover and My Bestie Are Dating
Feb23

The V-Spot: My Lover and My Bestie Are Dating

Hi there! I’m an early 30s, cis, brown, queer non-monogamous woman. My question is about a situation I find myself in with a lover and my best friend. This best friend is my Bestie, my chosen family. The lover is my first male lover in over a decade. (I was with women exclusively and have been in therapy for male-related trauma and abandonment stuff). He’s the first man I’ve been intimate and vulnerable with in that long....

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The V-Spot: Friends with Bad Benefits
Feb19

The V-Spot: Friends with Bad Benefits

Hi Yana, I have a conundrum! I recently started going on dates with a friend of a friend, and it wasn’t until our third date last week that I realized that, as much as I like them, I don’t think I’m sexually attracted to them. We’ve known each other for about a year and a half and have hung out in groups a lot. We have developed a very caring, intimate friendship and I feel something more than platonic towards them. But every time we...

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The V-Spot: Oceans Apart
Feb05

The V-Spot: Oceans Apart

Hi Yana, We met when we were 15 years old on the other side of the world. We were instantly attracted to each other and even made out on the first night. Saw each other over the years randomly on vacations, weddings etc. Tried to stay in touch and hang on to something we weren’t even sure was real. We’ve always had oceans between us and no way to cross it permanently. We lost touch seven years ago. Met each other again two...

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The V-Spot: My Coitus is Interruptus by Chronic Pain
Jan29

The V-Spot: My Coitus is Interruptus by Chronic Pain

Hello Yana, I’m a college student and I feel like I’m emotionally ready to seek out romantic and sexual relationships. The problem is, I feel like I have a lot stacked against me physically. I’m living with a pelvic floor disorder that requires me to do daily physical therapy in order to keep my vaginal muscles healthy, which can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. I am also on a very high dose of an SSRI (selective serotonin...

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The V-Spot: Where’s My Bleepin’ Orgasm??
Jan22

The V-Spot: Where’s My Bleepin’ Orgasm??

Dear Yana, I’ve been with my boyfriend for a couple years now. We’re just now starting to experiment in our sex life. I’ve known how to make myself vaginally orgasm for a few years now. And he knows what positions I need to do to make this happen. But it’s gotten to the point that if we have sex and I can’t have my orgasm, I get awfully bitter when he finishes. I have to fake a smile and pretend that it’s okay, but I’m usually so...

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The V-Spot: We’ve Got Different Sex Drives
Jan16

The V-Spot: We’ve Got Different Sex Drives

Hi Yana, My partner and I seem to be in different places when it comes to sex. We have fabulous sex when he’s up to it, but in general I have a higher sex drive and want to be more adventurous. We both have histories of trauma and deal with it in different ways. I’m mostly into reenacting/reclaiming the trauma, and he wants to avoid it. I don’t think either is better, I just want to know if you know a way that we can find some common...

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The V-Spot: Changed and Confused
Jan08

The V-Spot: Changed and Confused

Hi Yana, I’m a queer non-binary femme. My partner (also queer and non-binary) and I have been together for just about three years. In the past year, I have been doing a lot of emotional work — processing lots of trauma, shame and doing a lot of digging and learning. It’s also been a year of more depression and anxiety on my part. The first year and a half of our relationship we were incredibly sexual, we enjoyed sex a lot, loved to...

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The V-Spot: I Get Ghosted After One Night
Jan02

The V-Spot: I Get Ghosted After One Night

Hi Yana, I’ve had an above-average number of sexual partners (70+) and at least half have been one night stands. The pattern is: I start talking to someone on OKCupid, we arrange for a date, we have a few drinks, have sex. Sometimes, it’s more mutual, and neither of us wants to see the other again. More often, I’ve enjoyed the sex (and they have too) but are not interested in meeting up again. Among those are situations where I’m...

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V-Spot: How Do We Weather the Storm?
Dec26

V-Spot: How Do We Weather the Storm?

Hi Yana, My boyfriend of three years and I are both going through a really tough time. My parents are divorcing, he’s applying to schools, and plus our relationship has been long distance for the past two years. We’re both depressed, and I’ve been asking him to go to therapy lately. What advice would you give to a couple who’s going through a tough time, and how to weather the storm together? I’ve been terribly hurt in the past, so my...

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V-Spot: How Do I Tell Dates I’m Heartless?
Dec18

V-Spot: How Do I Tell Dates I’m Heartless?

Dear Yana, I have a cold, dead heart. Well, not really but pretty much, yeah. I was married to my ex-wife for nearly a decade and the end of our relationship was really complicated. I feel almost certain that I don’t have the capacity to be in love or be in a relationship ever again. That being said, I still want to get laid, of course. But my issue is this: I feel as though I’m being pretty up front with my dates about my emotional...

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The V-Spot: Help! I’m Too F*&%$ng Nice
Dec11

The V-Spot: Help! I’m Too F*&%$ng Nice

Hi Yana, So, I was recently dumped. Woo! During “the conversation,” my now-ex told me a lot of confusing reasons as to why he thought we should break up, but the one that I can’t stop thinking about: “You’re too nice.” He said that he didn’t know how to be in a relationship with someone who wasn’t mean to him, or how to navigate a relationship with someone who wanted to provide and care for him and take his feelings seriously. This is...

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V-Spot: My Boyfriend Just Won’t
Nov27

V-Spot: My Boyfriend Just Won’t

Hi Yana! I am a 21-year-old cisgender female living with my partner of 1.5 years. I’ll make it simple: a partner has never been able to make me orgasm. Either I do it solo or I do all the work for myself during sex with a partner. My partner and I communicate about sex all the time and I enjoy sex with him otherwise. I’ve tried a number of ways to ask him to put in a little more effort in making me feel good and he still doesn’t...

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The V-Spot: I Keep Falling for Straight Girls
Nov20

The V-Spot: I Keep Falling for Straight Girls

Hi Yana, I’m a 20-year-old student at one of the local women’s colleges. I’m gay and have been out for five years, though I’ve never dated anyone. I figured that it wouldn’t be too tricky to find someone here, since there’s a pretty large population of people who identify as LGBTQ+. However, despite the fact that I’m pretty social, and part of multiple student groups, I’ve only managed to fall for straight girls. To most people, I...

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The V-Spot: I’m So Excited and…
Nov13

The V-Spot: I’m So Excited and…

Hey Yana, I just read a list of codependent behaviors on the internet and realized a ton of them describe the ways I have navigated/still navigate my relationships. Particularly: getting upset/stressed about other people’s problems and trauma, abandoning my needs to cater to others, and getting strong dips in my self-worth/self-confidence when the people in my life aren’t totally happy/excited about me. I realize these...

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Valley V-Spot: My Partner is a Porn Addict, Now What?
Nov06

Valley V-Spot: My Partner is a Porn Addict, Now What?

Hi Yana, My partner has struggled with a pornography/masturbation addiction since he was a teen. I’m not against self pleasure. In fact, I believe it’s important and wonderful for everyone to experience, even when partnered. We’ve been together for 4 years, and our sex life is generally great. He was upfront with me about his issues with porn (his words) at an early point, but at the beginning he was contacting people outside of our...

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The V-Spot: How Do I Make Sexual Suggestions?
Oct30

The V-Spot: How Do I Make Sexual Suggestions?

Dear Yana, I’m a 30-something guy in a long-term relationship with a bisexual woman. She’s got a high sex drive and wants to have sex almost constantly. My desire doesn’t really match up with hers but I wonder if the issue is really that her sexual techniques don’t really line up with my tastes. Her confidence seems tenuous and I’m worried that my requests will deflate her. How could I best make suggestions towards what I want her to...

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V-Spot: Watching Porn in Public with Bella Vendetta (NSFW Trailer Included)
Oct23

V-Spot: Watching Porn in Public with Bella Vendetta (NSFW Trailer Included)

Editor’s note: This week instead of answering a reader question, Yana writes about an event she co-sponsored involving, well … read on! It’s not what you’d expect — this whole watching porn in a room full of strangers with your friends thing. On Saturday night, in an expansive room of the Eastworks building, about 50 of us did just that. And it was a wicked good time. The Training of Poe is an award-winning documentary-style...

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V-Spot: No Place for Your O-Face
Oct16

V-Spot: No Place for Your O-Face

Dear Yana, I recently had an ~interesting~ first sexual encounter with a man. We had been talking for a couple weeks and it was our second date, and it was all going pretty well. So far we seem to connect pretty well on an intellectual level and there was some great intimacy build up (read: massive sexual tension-filled cuddling while watching a movie). Though it took us a second to kind of get on the same kissing level, after a while...

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Valley V-Spot: Facing Jelly as a Poly
Oct09

Valley V-Spot: Facing Jelly as a Poly

Hi Yana, I’m newly in a poly triangle with two dear friends. We’re all very open about how we view partnership and love in all forms, and I didn’t hold any jealousy for their relationship until recently. Before I was a part of the relationship I wasn’t at all jealous that “Josie” was spending all her time with “Katie” and would hang out with me when convenient. Because to me they were in a relationship and I was a friend. Now that...

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The V-Spot: Healing an Ex-Shaped Hole in the Heart
Oct02

The V-Spot: Healing an Ex-Shaped Hole in the Heart

It’s been over a year now since I got my heart stomped by my ex-girlfriend. We were together for 11 years and our relationship ended very badly. Even after such a long term relationship, I’m still pretty young — in my mid-30s — and I’m pretty sure I’m a catch. But, every time I go out with someone from OKCupid, I never want to see them again. They all seem totally unhinged and just not like anyone I would want to date, casually or...

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The V-Spot: Real Sex-ed for Students
Sep25

The V-Spot: Real Sex-ed for Students

I recently moved into my aunt’s house, and I now live with my 16-year-old female cousin. Being in her life now makes me realize that I can give her advice on her first relationships and her first love … possibly. When I was 16, I wish I could have had someone in my life to give me advice on the mistakes I was making. I also realize that 16-year-old me wouldn’t have listened to anything anyone said to me. My cousin is currently...

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The V-Spot: Is My Romance Dead?
Sep18

The V-Spot: Is My Romance Dead?

I know your column is mainly about sex, but for me, it’s all about the romance. I’ve been struggling for decades to balance my love of flowers, dancing, and candlelight with my love of a husband who struggles with intimacy (for good reasons) and who promises me these things after an increasingly strongly worded hint from me that it is the little things that matter. But he never follows it through. The passion, friendship …...

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