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Don’t touch that dial

Q: I am interested in a local news reporter. I know that she is available and I would really like to get to know her. I dropped off a special Valentine's Day bag to the studio for her which included different types of candy to make sure that there were at least a few things in there that she liked. In the enclosed letter, I told her how much I appreciated her work. The problem with this whole situation is I have a feeling that I may have come off as a "mad smotherer" type. I am working on a letter of clarification to assure her that I am not a mad smotherer or a stalker, and giving her a little more info about me for the sake of making her feel comfortable. I e-mailed one of the other reporters to ask about her private life but he said she was kind of tight-lipped about it, and wished me luck. I know what types of guys she likes: exciting, intelligent, fun-loving types with a "bad boy" quality to them. I fit those criteria and then some. What should I do to guarantee a reply — a positive one at that? I thought of placing the letter inside of a card along with some flowers similar to last time, but later, when she least expects it. What would you suggest?

A: I would suggest you cool it with the candy, the flowers, the cards and the letters to her or her colleagues and concentrate your efforts on finding someone to introduce you personally. You may not think of yourself as a stalker, but you are coming on way too strong for a stranger to a public personality who probably gets more than her share of fan mail.

Q: I am a 25-year-old black female with many interests. I am having problems with men in my life and wonder whether it is me or not. Every man I am with tells me that I am the perfect woman for him and then turns around and does a whole lot of crazy shit. I am also bisexual, with urges to go back to being with a woman. The women I meet are cool to be with but I don't know where to meet many women. So how do I get to meet the best of men and women without the hassles of jumping around? Where are all the good ones?

A: Hiding from you? Nah, I doubt that it’s just you. Unfortunately there is no orchard of sweetie trees that one can wander through, waiting for a ripe one to fall into your eager hands. The world is full of men and women, "good ones" by many standards, but your picking techniques need to be polished. For a starter, why not go to some events aimed specifically at bisexuals? Visit www.binetusa.org or look for The Bisexual Resource Guide, $12.95 at your gay-friendly neighborhood bookstore.

Q: When my girlfriend and I have intercourse we always use a condom. I'm of average length but quite wide. Sometimes after I have ejaculated and pulled out that there is blood in my semen. Without a condom everything is fine; never a trace of blood. Could it be the condom is too tight or do I have a more serious problem?

A: Without a condom you may not be able to see small amounts of blood that might be there. If it were my penis, then I'd be concerned enough to have it checked out.

Q: I am a normal 21-year-old female, with a strong sex drive. I am currently single and in college. My problem is that my sex drive takes over way too much for me to handle sometimes; it is just out of control. Sometimes I just can't stop thinking about having sex, and being at school I have really easy access to willing men. I never have told any of the many men that I have slept with about my problem, but they have seen how horny I get. This has gotten to the point where I will sleep with just about any person that will supply me with a fix. I am really starting to worry that my drive is not normal because I have recently slept with three or four guys and my female roommate in a span of two days and was not happy enough with that. What would you recommend that I do about my problem?

A: Your sex drive is not what's out of control, kiddo, you are. For civilized people what you feel (desire) is not the sole determining factor for what you do (behavior). The situation you describe — the constant sexual thoughts, the many partners who are not necessarily well-chosen, the unhappy feelings afterward — are classic components of compulsive sexual behavior. My recommendation is to get yourself a competent therapist specializing in compulsive disorders. 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

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