Low-protein diet

Q: I am a vegetarian. My boyfriend and I often joke that I get enough protein from him. We wonder what the nutritional content of semen is, in particular, how many grams of protein per ejaculate. Is it in the sperm and therefore nonexistent in vasectomized man?

A: Protein is the same, whether there is sperm in the semen or not. Since a typical ejaculation contains only 1/10 to 1/3 of a gram of protein, I'd suggest you keep that peanut butter jar handy.

Q: I have been in a relationship with my lover for two years now. We live together and have a happy home except our life is so routine. We go to work, come home, do homework with the kids (she is wonderful with my kids and they love her), dinner, baths and bed. She goes and does her hobby a couple times a week, and I go to school half of my free Saturday. When the weekend comes and the kids are away, I want us to go out and enjoy one another — dinner, movie, etc. I am tired of being the one to bring all of the romance to the relationship. I have done everything from candle-lit dinners, sexy nighties, bubble bath, to taking her out. How come she doesn't surprise me with these things? I have brought this to her attention, but it seems like it went in one ear and two days later went out the other. I don't get flowers unless I am envying someone else's. I am so tired of it. She does not understand why I get so frustrated when we just sit around when we should be out enjoying our quality time together. It is not a money issue. We make pretty good money. Even if it were, I have even suggested we just go out for a walk at a park or have a picnic. Nothing. Am I asking too much? My life is so full of responsibility I just need to have a good time once and a while.

A: She may think sitting around enjoying the home you share together as good quality time. There are Be-ers and there are Doers. Tell her once more that you want her to plan a romantic weekly event for the two of you like ... and spell it out. Then ask what you might do that would enhance the relationship for her. Don't be surprised if she asks for more time by herself or something else that would not fit your ideas at all. You two have different styles of both relaxing and of sharing time together that have to be accounted for.

Q: My new boyfriend is a carrier for the HBV virus. He was treated several years ago. I have had the vaccine for over seven years now. Can we still get together and have sex even with a condom? I do not plan on ever having children. I do not want to dump him because he is such a nice guy who just got caught in a bad situation years ago. He may be my soul mate, and we have a lot of fun together. I do not want to hurt him, yet I want to protect myself. What do you advise?

A: If what you mean is the Human Papilloma Virus (genital warts), much is still not known about them. For now you're doing the right thing. Good for you for sticking with him and for using condoms. Check in every so often with the American Social Health Organization for the latest in HPV updates: 1-800-227-8922 or www.ashastd.com.

Q: My friend gave me your address and said you could probably answer a question for me. I am 17 and in fairly good health. I masturbate twice a day; once when I wake up and once before I go to sleep. I got in this habit because I got used to constant sex with this girl I had been with for two years. My question is: Why do I get tired, cranky and just blah if I don't follow my schedule? Also, I have another question. My penis is only 6 inches long and 4 inches in diameter. Is this a normal size for someone who is almost 18?

A: Most men masturbate, whether they have a current sex partner or not, and many get cranky if they don't have some regular form of sexual release. It's not life threatening, mind you, just not the best of all possible worlds. You'd probably feel less than top shape if you didn't eat well or get regular exercise also. We are all creatures of habit. By the way, your penis size is absolutely within normal range for an adolescent or a grown-up male.

Isadora Alman is a board-certified sexologist and a California-licensed marriage-and-family therapist. Contact her via this paper or [email protected] Her Sexuality Forum is at
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