A ticklish situation

Q: My 52-year-old wife is the secretary to the only female executive at a financial firm, who, according to my wife, is the object of a great deal of abuse from the male execs. About six months ago, my wife returned quite late from work. She told me that, at the request of her boss and in an attempt to relieve some of her boss's frustrations, she stayed after hours and allowed her boss to tie her up and tickle her. My wife told me that, although her boss was merciless, she enjoyed being dominated by such a young woman (a 25-year-old Ivy League graduate). When I expressed my concerns, she assured me that her relationship with her boss was in no way sexual, explaining that the only clothing she removed was her stockings and shoes. Over the past couple of months my wife has come home late from work more frequently, about once a week, and each time she is not wearing stockings when she returns. Even though I have asked her to stop these activities, she refuses to do so. She says she enjoys being dominated by a young woman and her activities are in no way sexual. Do you think my wife is a lesbian or bisexual based upon her activities with her boss? How do I reconcile my discomfort with her after-work activities?

A: Check all the ads in the back of this and similar papers for professional dominators who do such dominate-and-tickle games for money. Even though the law may disagree, do you think they and their clients see these activities as in no way sexual because no clothing is removed and genitals are not involved? People get off on all sorts of things that do not directly involve penises or vaginas. What your wife wants to call herself (lesbian, bisexual, or just an exemplary employee) is open to negotiation and discussion. As is how you can reconcile her activities, be assured, however, that this is way beyond making coffee and many secretaries object even to that.

Q: I saw you mention recently that a person can stimulate or arouse themselves with "erotic audio tapes." I've been looking for erotic audio tapes for a while and I've not been able to find them. Tell me where I can find some to enhance my sex life.

A: Most "adult" stores carry them as do online sellers such as www.gamelinks.com or www.blowfish.com. Otherwise, check directly with Passion Press, "the voice of erotic audio literature" at www.passionpress.com or 800-724-3283.

Q: I am a 31-year-old, single, African-American female who seems to have it all together but has run out of ideas. I have absolutely no idea how to find a guy. Let me just say that I am not looking for a husband, at least not now anyway. I just want someone who's not afraid of truth - meaning someone who asks what are you looking for and really wants the answer. I have tried ads in this newspaper, chat rooms, the Internet, even bars, all to no avail. It's really driving me crazy. I am a great catch. I am attractive, I have a job and a car so I'm self-sufficient, and am pretty intelligent. I even have a bonus - an 8-year-old son. Please, if you can, assure me that all is not lost, that there is someone out there who feels the same way I do, that it's not us but the world that needs changing.

A: Have you tried letting your friends and family know what you're looking for, tried church, singles groups, parent groups, discussion groups, taking classes, taking the initiative with an attractive man? The world is full of people hoping to connect, some of whom may even see your child as a positive the way you do. Put yourself out there, be open to possibilities, and keep up the search.

Q: I am addicted to prescription opiates. They are the only substance that makes me feel OK, but with opiate use comes no sex drive whatsoever. Other than abstinence, any suggestions, medical or otherwise?

A: Of course, but I'm sure you've already thought of it. Kick your addiction, find some other form of distress management (medical or otherwise) and you'll rediscover what a wonderful pain reliever good sex can be.

Confidential to "Paranoid about this Condition": I'm sorry, I can't respond by private mail, E or otherwise, and neither I nor anyone else can diagnose medical conditions by mail. If you don't want to take it to your own physician go to a public or private health clinic or see another doctor. 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