Wanting to be wanted 

Q: I have been married about 12 years. It's been going pretty good. We have had four great boys from it, but certain things have happened with my wife. She takes medications for depression. She has tried to take her life twice and she was taken away from me for a few weeks just to make sure she was OK to raise the children again. My needs as a husband were not being met. It wasn't the greatest, but I learned to live without it. Should I be so greedy and only think of my needs? I am not a bad husband. I take care of her very well and she provides well for the family. I have had one affair (I met her online) that lasted a year. The guilt just took over and I gave up on it. It’s been about four years now. The idea of divorce has crossed my mind but what overcomes that is the guilt of her taking on all the work raising the kids. I met someone new and very nice online and I am starting to like this person very much, but in the back of my mind I wonder if I am doing this for all the wrong reasons. I want so much to have a healthy love life, to be wanted and held. That's what's missing here. But maybe I am just too nice of a guy to throw it all away. I would really appreciate any input.

A: Your desire to be loved and wanted is very understandable, very human, but no one can be happy if what he does is in conflict with what he believes. You took a vow that probably included "in sickness and in health." What's more, a parent of four children can’t think only of his own needs and still face himself in the mirror. Sublimating your romantic desires with an online relationship is one solution to your dilemma, but you see what happened last time when it was translated into the flesh. Perhaps if you sat down with your wife and her therapist you might get a clearer picture of what is possible in your marriage and then be able to make some better decisions. By the way, should you decide to divorce, that does not mean "leaving all the work of raising kids" to her. You can take as active a role as you wish, and, with an emotionally fragile wife, you really need to help, for everyone's sake.

Q: Please help me with this problem. My boyfriend has the smallest penis I have ever seen. It is about 2 or 2 1/2 inches soft; erect, it's about 4 inches at most. He is a big guy. Do all really tall guys have such small dicks?

A: No. As for helping you with this problem, he has what he has. I can't make it grow. It's up to the two of you to find ways to make sex as exciting as it can be using all parts available.

Q: When we got into out late 70s, my wife lost almost all interest in sex; I remain hot to trot. My main satisfaction has become solo action while watching both straight and gay porn videos. I am surprised that gay males do not climax during oral or anal action, but always jerk themselves off. Is this true in real life or only for the videos?

A: At 70-plus you are old enough not to believe everything you see in the movies. Some gay men like certain kinds of practices, others prefer other kinds. There are certain pornography conventions that take precedence over personal predilections and being able to see the "money shot," that is, watching the guy squirt, is a crucial one.

Q: I am single and having a premature ejaculation problem. I am wondering who could be of help to me — a doctor, therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist? I have no medical problem. I think the best idea is to take advice from an expert, so what would you suggest? I have no partner. Is a surrogate partner the only way?

A: The best person to see about a sex problem you are sure is not medical is a sex therapist. While I really like and utilize sexual surrogacy in my counseling practice, many others don't. It's not an absolute necessity since much of the work you will be doing to learn better ejaculation control is by yourself. Masturbation as work? Actually, yes. "Make no mistake about that," as Nixon might have said, had he been discussing the stop-and-start method of learning how to make erections last. (Hey, maybe that's what was on the missing 18 minutes of tape!)

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Speaking of Love & Sex, Ask Isadora

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