A: Everybody has an ass. Some people like stimulation there, some don't. It is not a gay thing; no one will be turned gay, straight or curly-haired by ass play. How lucky that a person who enjoys it is mated with another who also enjoys it. As you know from my column, that's not always the case. Buy a small dildo that is not as daunting to your husband and insert it slowly when he is highly aroused. He will be more receptive at that time, less fearful and also less likely to feel pain. An excellent book on the "ins and outs" of anal play is Jack Morin's Anal Pleasure & Health.
Q: I have a friend who asked me where she could find a job as a phone-sex operator (or whatever you call that). She's really unhappy where she works and has no chance to do what she wants. We were throwing around jobs she could do where she had more freedom to name her hours, make decent money and not be tied down to a desk from 9 to 5. Are we wrong about the freedom and good money in phone sex? You wouldn't have any suggestions that might help her know where to start looking for something like this, would you?
A: Turn to the paper you are holding. See any ads for phone sex? Call them and ask to speak to the manager. I don't know what you mean by "good money." Maybe it will seem like it, but maybe after the third hour, day or week of moaning "Ohhh, baby, Ohhh, baby" it won't seem as good as mumbling "paper or plastic?" I suggest that your friend also look into outside sales jobs — from drug representative to real estate — for a broader assortment of employment opportunities that won’t leave her chained to a desk.
Q: I am 38 years old. It takes me a long time to get an erection. It seems I need added forms of stimulation. I often have to use my hand or be stimulated orally. What's happening to me? Can I do anything to improve my condition? Please don't recommend Viagra.
A: How about Papaverine mixed with several other erection-inducing drugs, self-injected directly into your penis? What do you have against Viagra, a miracle solution compared to those available only five years ago? Your problems are either physical, in which case you really need a checkup from a good urologist, or they are psychological, in which case I need to know more. Probably there is a component of both. Is it possible you're angry with your partner(s) and you're not getting what you want? As men age, they tend to need more stimulation than just the visual of a rounded this or that, but 38 is really too soon for this to be happening all by itself. So see a doctor you trust, take a long look at your relationship(s), and I'm sure you'll find there are things to do to improve your situation.
Q: My skin gets really dry and itchy during the winter. A hot shower alleviates the itching but dries the skin out, creating a vicious cycle of itching and scratching. The near-scalding water produces such intense pleasure in an area beyond the itch that it becomes sexual in nature and actually feels as good as an orgasm, just not a genital one. Have you or your medical experts ever heard of this?
A: It's not so surprising that the penetrating stimulation of very hot water and/or scratching an itch can produce such intense sensation. The skin is our largest organ of touch and pleasure. Your situation reminds me of the woman who had an orgasm whenever she sneezed. Asked by her concerned friend what she took for such a unique condition, she replied "pepper." Isadora Alman is a board-certified sexologist and a California-licensed marriage-and-family therapist. Contact her via this paper or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Sexuality Forum is at