Herbal formulas to prevent orgasm or to encourage it? I'm reminded of the woman who confides to a friend that she climaxes every time she sneezes. Her friend asks her what she takes for that. Her answer: Pepper. —Isadora
• What a terrific response to the writer married to an alcoholic. I left my husband several years ago because was an alcoholic who refused to acknowledge there we had problems, let alone begin to address them. The sex (it sure wasn't "making love") was lousy. Wild Turkey-breath didn't make me go wild and he had difficult getting and maintaining an erection. More importantly, any true emotional intimacy, in and out of the bedroom, had been obliterated by the booze. I wasn't fully aware of how much I'd been missing until some months later when I discovered the pleasure to be had with a man who is really "there" with you. I wept tears of joy that night for what I'd just experienced, along with tears of regret for what had been (or, more accurately, not been) in the last years of my marriage. I hope that your reply prompts that woman to move on and discover for herself the true love a drunk can never provide.
• Your reply to a young woman regarding her fear of disclosing to her paranoid boyfriend that she had herpes was right on target. Not providing her boyfriend the information, thus preventing him from making an educated decision on his own, is morally and ethically inappropriate. In addition, there is a possibility of legal ramifications. I, too, have herpes; I am a facilitator of a support group that provides information and a place to meet and talk with others in the same situation. We are affiliated with the American Social Health Association and are listed with their National Herpes Hotline; 919-361-8488, as well as the STD Hotline; 800-227-8922. Some of what I learned and would like to pass along: The virus is not life threatening; one in five people carry it; 20 percent of those don't even know they have it. Providing a potential partner with information has proven positive the majority of the time. The key for me has been in choosing my partners carefully and picking open-minded intelligent people. For those who aren't ready for that yet (as I wasn't at one time) there is the option of meeting others with the same condition online.
• To the man whose date requested to be spanked and then sodomized: How lucky could you have gotten on that date? I agree with you that some women enjoy being spanked and that some enjoy anal intercourse. For him to have found that particular woman was extremely lucky. He doesn't even realize the trust she must have had in him to offer herself in what I would consider a special sexual treat. I believe that there are many of us who would have given anything to be in his "predicament." I hope he was gentlemanly enough to allow her equal opportunity.
• I read your column while sweating in the sauna at the YMCA. I lift the newspaper when and if I am obliged to display an erection to another sweating member. I keep the paper lowered to achieve discretion or to indicate lack of interest in someone trying to arouse me. This raising and lowering of the paper, as if it were a drawbridge, makes reading difficult, and flowing sweat makes the print obscure. You will be pleased to know, however, that men have ejaculated directly onto your column, keeping the sauna tidy for the next attendees. Given these circumstances, please be assured that I will check on the columns at your Web site, since I have yet to read one all the way through in print. Isadora Alman, author of Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex, is a board-certified sexologist and a California-licensed marriage-and-family therapist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Sexuality Forum is at