Opening the closet

Q: I am a sexually frustrated 23-year-old male. I recently went on a blind date with an extremely attractive 24-year-old woman who would most likely fulfill any man's wildest dreams. The one drawback is that I found myself completely uninterested in her. I have been entertaining the idea that I am gay. I have been fighting these thoughts because my friends are all homophobic. The have been trying to couple me up with their female friends but I am half-hearted about this idea. I always tell them that she's not my type or use any other excuse I can give. I haven't been with a woman for years and I thought that would give them a clue that I am homosexual. I just don't know how to tell everyone, including my family. Please help me.

A: At this point there is nothing certain to tell, so why cause a ruckus among friends and family at holiday time? Not finding a theoretically beautiful woman sexually attractive is no indication that you're gay; neither is being celibate. Perhaps you'd prefer a big woman, or an older woman, or one who shares your sense of humor or world view — someone you have yet to meet. Most people define their sexuality by whom they do find attractive, but you’ve made no mention of a sexual draw toward men. I suggest you join a gay/human rights group or a local chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Meet some people who are not homophobic, hear their stories, see if there are any attractions. Eventually you will know who you are and, when you do, you will know what to say to those around you.

Q: I am a sexually active heterosexual woman. I generally have an orgasm when I'm engaging in sexual encounters with men and I masturbate quite regularly, but I have the most intense orgasms when I'm fully clothed, sitting somewhere (usually at work), fantasizing about someone. I stimulate myself only by contracting my muscles. Sometimes it's when I'm having a stressful day; other times it's when I want to escape my work reality. I am curious about what I can do to experience similar intensity while with someone else.

A: That may not be possible since a key ingredient may be that you are in public and/or are undistracted by a partner's needs. In any case, why not experiment both with muscle contracting and fantasy next time you are having a partnered sexual encounter to see what you can incorporate.

Q: I am a 38-year-old woman, married for 18 years to a wonderful loving man. I work as a home care provider and presently have eight clients who are males with physical mobility problems, ranging in age from 28 to 62. On each visit I have to bathe each man totally, causing them to get erections. I get aroused seeing these huge erect penises and sometimes give them a hand release to ejaculation. I find myself virtually obsessed with wanting to suck each man's erection. I am really concerned about my obsessive feelings for these men and the large cocks that turn me on. My husband is not aware of my peculiar problem. I can use any advice you care to give me.

A: My best advice is to change your occupation to one dealing with fully clothed people. That's the easy way out. Even if your relationship to each of your patients were explicitly consenting and your behaviors known to and accepted by your husband, what you are doing is unprofessional and could in some circumstances be seen as unethical abusive of your position. If you continue in this manner, then you risk losing your job and your professional reputation, possibly getting a disease and doing harm to your marriage. If your preoccupation with huge penises is truly obsessive, consult a psychotherapist who can help you deal constructively with your obsessions.

Q: I am a middle-aged, white, 52-year-old man who lives a submissive lifestyle. Well-endowed and healthy, I am usually sought by dominant black women who need a submissive man to do their heavy housework, including laundry, ironing or any other kind of work. I am in an agreement with this dominant woman to do her housework and be subjected to severe discipline, verbal degradation, whipping and having my testicles squeezed. I worry after all these years if I can devolve testicular cancer. Do you know?

A: I checked with a specialist in sexual medicine who says that it is not known why any individual will develop cancer, but, in any case, testicular cancer is a disease usually found in much younger men. 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

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