Sex with the Lights On or Off?

Plus: How to deal with a verbally abusive boyfriend

Dear Monica,
My girlfriend will only have sex with the lights off. I like the lights on. How can I get around this? —J.J., Wynnewood

Hmmm, sex with the lights on? That sounds romantic. Are you her lover or her gyno?

Hopefully her need to be in the pitch black is not insecurity about her body, or worse yet, a sign that she is not into seeing yours with such clarity. I can understand that you don’t always want to do it in the dark. It’s like having to do it in the same position all the time. Having said that, you need to set the mood. The harsh light from a lamp is not going to improve your odds of changing up the routine. What you need to do is slowly introduce candles, dim lights or curtains drawn if it is during the day. Offer compliments about how great she looks and say you want to see her during the act. Making her feel at ease and loved will smooth the way. If things are going well she should be so taken by your technique that the lighting is the last thing on her mind.

Dear Monica,
I have been dating a guy for over a year and he has become increasingly argumentative and even verbally abusive. What should I do? —S.D., Mt. Laurel

You should break up with him yesterday. The dating period is when people normally are on their best behavior. This is the time to court, romance and woo your partner. If he can’t control himself now, it ain’t going to get any prettier when you are barefoot and pregnant. Clearly, he is not just insecure about himself, but also has anger management issues that have yet to be resolved. Although some may turn to therapy to try to help the relationship, the fact is, he has peeled back the veneer and these are his true colors. Run like the wind! Find someone who can treat you with love and respect.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles.  Please send your questions to: