The unkindest cut? 

Q: I'm a guy in his early 40s who is considering a vasectomy. My question concerns the effect of such on operation on my semen. How much will the quantity drop? How will the quality (consistency, taste, scent) change? The urologist says I will notice no difference, but I wanted to ask someone with more street cred.

A: Thanks, but I must say that I have no direct experience with the matter. (My partners have all been "befores" or "afters," no "durings"). The poop on my Sexuality Forum Web site from guys who have just undergone the operation is that other than some soreness, there is no difference in any appreciable way — not volume, scent, taste or anything else except security around unplanned pregnancy.

Q: I am in a marriage of 18 years that has produced two wonderful children. Since the birth of our last child, our sex life has drastically deteriorated to an average of once per two weeks. My appetite for sex is three or four times weekly. We have seen a sex therapist, to no avail. I have suggested to my wife that we have another woman in our life so I can have enough sex but she is dead set against it. I am happy with my marriage except for the sex part. I want to have an outside, discreet relationship. Do you know of anyplace I can find clean women who seek sexual favors or a couple that need another man to fulfill the woman? Don't tell me to place an ad or respond to an ad via phone because my wife would know. I can only respond to an ad with a box number. Why have people stopped using them in their ads? Don't they know that not all of us can use a credit card or direct telephone charge for fear our spouse or family might know? Recently I saw an ad where a guy is seeking a male for a threesome with his wife. I want to help this guy but I cannot respond without a box number. Can you publish this letter so that women or couples who seek another man for encounters know they must make it convenient for us to contact them by having an address. Please publish this as a community service.

A: Sweetie, there are far more horny men looking for women or couples than the other way around, at least as far as public advertising. When they do place an ad, they want to make it convenient for themselves. In this age of instant gratification, the mail, no matter what it promises, is just too slow. A person can tell much more about the likelihood of a sexual partner from a voice, if not by actual sight, and not a whole lot through the slow process of writing back and forth. Most casual sex contacts are made in person — in private life such as work flirtations or vacation adventures, swing houses or bars and clubs. Many such arrangements are initiated these days on the Internet where private e-mail addresses are more expedient than mail boxes. This is a seller's market, so if you want to, um, trade in the marketplace, you are going to have to do something about updating and improving your marketing skills.

Q: My husband and I enjoy oral sex (and, yes, I am a swallower). If my husband has a cold or a stomach virus or some other catchy thing, can I get it from ingesting his fluids?

A: Yes. So it's probably best to find some other way to offer comfort to an ailing hubby ... perhaps a back rub.

Q: My boyfriend and I regularly jog together, however he refuses to shower together after we work out. This puzzles me. His only explanation is that he prefers showering alone. This is the first time I have ever encountered a man who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to shower with a woman. Every boyfriend I've had would shower with me after exercising; even a gay male friend did so. After all, it's the only way to get your back scrubbed. I doubt it has anything to do with inhibitions, since we sleep together nude. I guess I should just let it be but the thought of showering together is often my incentive to run, particularly when the weather turns cold. Do you have any suggestions?

A: Yes. Let the poor guy have his preference and, if you really love company, arrange to shower with other friends. Isadora Alman is a licensed marriage counselor and a board-certified sexologist. You can reach her online at her Sexuality Forum ( or by writing to her care of this paper. Alas, she cannot answer questions

Speaking of Love & Sex, Ask Isadora

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