A smelly situation

Aug 23, 2000 at 12:00 am
Q: My boyfriend and I are both in our 30s. We have been together for a number of years. He is a big guy who sweats a lot in the summer. He showers, at most, three times a week, about the same number of times he brushes his teeth. I love to kiss and give blow jobs, but have stopped because of his hygiene. He has already given me a bladder infection and several yeast infections. I have tried everything from offering him gum or mints to offering to shower together. He always says he'll shower in the morning but wakes up too late. I love this man but I can't take his hygiene habits anymore. Help! Do you have any solutions?

A: There is a technical term for your boyfriend's condition — it's called being a slob — and for yours — being a wimp. Ever hear of setting some limits? This situation is way beyond offering breath mints. How about "Unless that thing gets a good dose of soap and water, toothpaste or shampoo, keep it away from me!" And mean it.

Q: I am a 25-year-old married female who has adulterous affairs to achieve an orgasm that doesn't seem possible with my husband. I could say it’s an obsession. I have been with three men in the last 18 months. I am not interested in the person themselves whatsoever and prefer to get straight to business and leave. I have been with my husband for two years married and 10 altogether since high school. I am happy with our relationship. Am I doing this because I missed out on those hot flings in my younger days? The thought of going swinging is out of the question because I don't want him with anyone else and I don't think its productive since we have a kid together. Any options?

A: A few, and they're not mutually exclusive. Get to work with a vibrator to provide your own orgasms and with some good clear communication with your husband so that he can help. If your affairs really are an obsession, get yourself into the hands of a competent therapist. Your game is dangerous to your health and your marriage, not to mention your ethics.

Q: I have not slept with many women, but with every woman I have had a relationship we have always slept nude together. I enjoy the skin-to-skin contact after sex almost as much as lovemaking itself, and when we were too exhausted to engage in vigorous sex the sensuous joy of cuddling naked was a great substitute. I have met a wonderful woman who I would love to marry. She is not a prude. Indeed, she was the first to suggest making love, but she adamantly refuses to sleep naked and prefers that I not sleep naked either. She puts on a nightgown and lets me lift it, but will not remove it during lovemaking. We have discussed this and she feels the body is private and she is simply uncomfortable being naked. Not only would I like for her to sleep nude, but I would also like to be able to undress her as part of foreplay. Is there anything I can do or say to change her attitude? I would hate to lose her but I can not accept this condition which is the only irritant in our relationship.

A: It's always something, isn't it? This is a classic clash of wills, a power struggle, a my-way-or-the-highway conflict. There are only so many ways to resolve standoffs of any sort — compromise, bribery, tradeoffs, convincing the opposition of the rightness of your position or capitulation by one or the other. The most popular question this column has received over the years is some variant of "How can I get my partner to do what I want?" If you have tried pleading and negotiations and tradeoffs and compromise and persuasion, I'm afraid the only choices left are lump it or leave. The fact that I agree that her position seems unreasonable will not be worth a piffle since this is not a dispute of logic.

Q: I am in lust with my co-worker. I find myself daydreaming about having oral sex, anal sex and intercourse with him at work. His girlfriend works in the same division as we do, but is out in the field most of the week. He often visits my office and tells me how good he is at everything he does. I want to tell him how much I desire him. How can I ask him to fulfill my fantasies without interfering with his interracial relationship? By the way, he and I are of the same nationality.

A: Even if all three of you were purple Eskimos, unless he has an open relationship, you can't. Isadora Alman is a licensed marriage counselor and a board-certified sexologist. You can reach her online at her Sexuality Forum (www.askisadora.com) or by writing to her care of this paper. Alas, she cannot answer questions