Going for the gold?

• As a 33-year-old single woman who knows how to please and be pleased sexually, I would like every man to understand that being pounded for 30 minutes until my sacred groove is numb is not good sex. Instead of worrying about how long they stay hard, I think men should look at their lovers and see if they are smiling. If she's happy and you're happy, then the number of minutes is not important. Lovemaking is not an Olympic event. There is no need to keep statistics in size, wetness or endurance. Just make love and be happy you have someone to be with.

• Regarding the father's discussion of sexuality with his 11-year-old boy: I must add that a few words on homosexual sex would be more than appropriate, especially since the child's questions were in regards to two very common forms of gay sex (oral and anal sex). I would guess that at the moment this child is far more interested in sex with another boy than with a girl. The fact that he would even broach the subject with the father is a sign that's screaming out for a more thorough answer and discussion. Years ago, as an 11-year-old child, I was engaged in numerous same-sex activities. I have to believe that such activities among young children are far more common than any parent would care to acknowledge. While I applaud the openness and approval of the father regarding masturbation, I see it as just a small first step. How I wish I had some guidance from my parents or someone about sex when I was growing up. Instead, I got only misinformation — from other children. Parents, the choice is yours.

• In a recent column, you mentioned that laser hair removal is permanent. It is not. It was approved by the FDA for permanent hair reduction, not removal. What actually happens is a small decrease in follicle diameter and temporary removal; the hair eventually grows back. I am a transgendered woman and I have researched this quite a bit. For excellent information with no commercial bias, go to www.tsroadmap.com and click on Hair Removal.

• Your response to the man who "lasts no longer than 10 minutes" that being a vegetarian has nothing to do with it is questionable. I think that diet, combined with lifestyle, definitely influences one's energy, sexual or otherwise. Many common sexual problems from vaginal dryness to low sperm count can be helped by a diet based upon macrobiotic principles.

• The reader who wrote to say that the accurate way to measure penis size is by volume rather than length is correct. Where he goes wrong, however, is in suggesting that one can simply take the radius and length and use the formula of a cylinder to find the volume. No scientist would accept such grossly inaccurate data. Maybe that reader's dick is a cylinder, but mine, and those of my acquaintances, tend to be of more complex shape. The correct way to accurately find the volume of a cock is by displacement; that is the only method we use around here. What you need is a cheap, plastic 250 milliliter graduated cylinder, which is available for a couple of dollars at any lab supply. Because the penis will (presumably) still be attached to the body when the measurement is taken, you will have to cut the top, unmarked portion of the graduate off with a hacksaw or similar tool. Smooth all rough edges, then fill the graduate up to the very top with warm water. Place it in the middle of a room where spillage will not be a problem. Bring the penis to the desired state for measurement and then, on hands and knees, lower it into the graduated cylinder as far as possible. The volume of water remaining in the graduate after the immersion subtracted from the total capacity of the graduate is the true volume of the dick.

• Stories, probably apocryphal: Tom Edison had this test that he gave prospective engineers at Menlo Park. He handed them an empty light bulb and told them to figure the volume. If they got out their calipers and slide rules and started to figure it out in a math-minded way, they were shown the door. If they filled the bulb with water and then quantified that by a standard volume measure (e.g. a calibrated beaker), they got a job. The physically (as opposed to the mentally) well-endowed who might want to measure the volume of any likely appendage (an arm, say) have merely to submerge it in a known volume of any liquid (I recommend warm beer), and then measure the amount displaced ("my cup runneth over"). Archimedes did this with his whole self in a bathtub and figured out what floats and what doesn't, which is probably more interesting information to most women (I'm guessing here) than the cubic capacity of any given pork rind. And remember who it was, when asked, "How long should a man's legs be?," answered, "Long enough to reach the ground." Honest Abe Lincoln, the old hairsplitter himself. 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

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