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Should She Stay Or Go?

Q: My husband and I have been together for six years, married for three. I recently found out that within the first year of our relationship, he had an "encounter" with another man. They fooled around together (jerked off) but did not have sex. He explained to me that he was sexually abused in his teens and that this guy had had similar experiences. He knows that the guy is gay, and he said that he was at a low point and felt that this guy would be able to relate to his sense of loneliness. They have never met on that level after that encounter. He says that he has never been confused about his sexuality, that he's straight and that he has had relationships with women all his life. Deep down, I do not believe that he is gay, but I also am wondering if I am just convincing myself that he has to be straight for my own peace of mind. He has been open to talking about the whole ordeal and also realizes that he should seek counseling. My greatest fear is, if I stay in the marriage, what if somewhere down the

road he "discovers" that he is gay, and that would mean that I'd wasted even more of my life? I love him deeply, and we have never encountered any major difficulties sexually. So my question is: Should I stay, or is it inevitable that I go?

A: As far as I can tell, you are over-reacting. You love him, you're married, he didn't really have sex and he says it won't happen again, and yet you're thinking of throwing away the relationship on the chance that he might be gay. But notice I said "as far as I can tell." What I am not able to tell is what else is wrong with the relationship, because if it were perfect, I'd guess that you wouldn't have written to me. In other words, within the context of your relationship, this episode takes on greater importance, or so it seems. So it's not that he needs counseling, it's that your marriage needs it. You both should go and talk this out with a therapist. So, while I don't think you have to "go," I do believe you have to heed whatever warning bells are going off in your head and see a professional to discover whether they're a false alarm.

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Q: My boyfriend and I are both in our early to mid 40s, and have been together for four years. We've had a nonexistent sex life since approximately six weeks into our relationship, which is when he realized he was in love with me. Our early sexual encounters failed miserably. He couldn't perform well because he was so worried that he wouldn't be able to satisfy me. We've had sex very few times since. We have a very deep and strong love for each other, but he says he can't have sex with me because he loves and respects me; he says he has a disconnect between love and sex, and can perform only when it doesn't mean anything to him. Prior to me, he had numerous sexual partners, mostly short-lived flings or one-night stands. He has cheated on me with strangers and casual acquaintances. Only after I recently ended the relationship did he agree to finally go to counseling/therapy. Does this disconnect really exist? In all other ways, we both feel that each other is "the one," but we question if this will ever be

what we hope it can be.

A: Among the billions of people on this planet you can find an example of everything, but I suspect that a fear of failure, which you also mention, is the more likely source of the problem, rather than this disconnect. Your important question is whether he will be "the one," and I can't answer that. But hopefully after you both go for counseling, you'll discover the answer. Good luck.

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Q: I am a 59-year-old woman who enjoys sex and experiences multiple orgasms. Although these experiences are very pleasurable, they are accompanied by a lot of spasmodic muscle movements throughout my body (including head jerking, causing neck pain). I often feel lightheaded afterward. I question whether my brain is being overloaded and wonder if this wonderful experience could be causing me harm - I hope not! Please enlighten me.

A: As far as I know, having orgasms, multiple or not, can't cause you any harm. But that doesn't mean that something else isn't going on in your body that is reacting to the orgasmic response. I suggest that you see your physician and ask for a checkup. It's probably nothing, but it's better to find out than to ignore it.

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"Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50" (Quill Driver Books) is Dr. Ruth Westheimer's latest book. Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her in care of this newspaper. You can also find her at www.drruth.com.

© 2013 Karola Inc., All Rights Reserved

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

Posted: September 23, 2013, 4:00 pm

Question From 27-Year-Old Virgin

Q: I am a 27-year-old virgin, and I think I might be ready to have sex for the first time. But I am worried about experiencing pain. I have heard people say that the older you become, the more pain you will have during sex. Is that true? And are there any tips or advice to minimize the pain?

A: Let me say one thing about the pain: Forget about it, push it out of your mind - never, never think about it ahead of time. Some women experience some pain the first time, others a lot, and still others none whatsoever. There are no hard and fast rules. The traditional pain comes from the breaking of the hymen, but many women have their hymen broken in ways other than through intercourse, so then there's no pain. But any woman who is nervous - which can lead to her subconsciously tightening her vaginal muscles - will feel pain, maybe even a lot of pain. So the more any woman worries about the pain, the more likely she will feel pain, and vice versa. So wipe out any fear of this pain, and the likelihood is that you won't feel much pain at all.

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Q: My husband and I have been together nine years, married for one. During the past year or so, he has become increasingly obsessed with anal sex. I tried, but I just can't - I don't like it, it makes me feel cheap and dirty, and it is very uncomfortable. My husband is very respectful of me, says he won't force me to do something I'm not into, and this is bothering him even more than me. He is terrified of hurting me or getting caught up in the moment and forcing me. It has gotten to the point now where we rarely have sex, and when we do, I always orgasm many times and enjoy it but he takes a very long time to climax, if he does at all. He is finding the obsession with anal very distracting. We've had sex once this month; he couldn't climax because he was having to keep checking himself because he is so worried about forcing me into it. So now we are stuck. I just can't bring myself to let him have anal sex with me. He says he needs to sort out his brain but he refuses to talk to a counselor, and I'm

worried that it will eventually drive us apart. I was feeling frustrated with the lack of sex, but I am starting to dread and avoid sex for the first time in our relationship. I don't know what to do!

A: His reaction seems to be cause for concern. It's one thing to really want something, but a whole other to have to hold back to such an extent from forcing you. I agree that this could drive you apart, and so here's my advice: Go to see either a sex therapist or a marital counselor. If he won't go, go by yourself. Hopefully as a result of your going, he'll end up going too, and then you can get to the bottom of this. I can't predict what the ultimate result is going to be, except to say that if you two don't get counseling, then your marriage may be in serious jeopardy.

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Q: I just started to date a guy, and we had sex the other night. I wasn't aware of his penis size until that moment, and, well, he is extremely small ... even lying on my side, it was impossible for him to get it in. I can't continue in this relationship for this reason, because I find it very awkward and I don't even know what to say to him. Can you give me some advice, please?

A: As you know, I say over and over again that size doesn't matter ... unless a man's penis isn't just below average but really very small, which is the situation you're faced with. Now, if you really like this guy and don't want to lose him, then you have to be willing to compromise. You can both give each other orgasms without having intercourse. Also, he could wear a sheath that would give him more size if you really need to feel him inside of you. I'm also wondering if he wasn't hard enough to penetrate you because he knows he has this problem and so was very worried. Could your relationship ever be perfect? Probably not, but if he's worth it in other ways, then you should be willing to do what needs to be done and not put too much emphasis on your potential sex life. But if he's not someone you would ever want to have a long-term relationship with, if you don't feel he's worth compromising for, then you have to split up. Whatever you say to him, he's going to know what the problem is, so while you

can try to let him down easy, it's not going to be easy to do.

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"Sex for Dummies" (IDG Books) is among Dr. Ruth Westheimer's most popular books. Have a question for Dr. Ruth? Write to her in care of this newspaper. You can also find her at www.drruth.com.

© 2013 Karola Inc., All Rights Reserved

Distributed by King Features Syndicate