• Regarding the situation with the boyfriend under "homo suspicion," may I add the following: Has anyone considered asking the man if he is gay? It's quite common for gay men to first come out to girlfriends and wives. Asking personal questions is a loving and caring gift. Silence on such matters can be the deafening roar of "I don't care about you." Perhaps he is bringing home the bacteria after ramming some dude up the butt, rather than "ramming some sex-crazed bitch up the butt." Not only do many men, gay and straight, enjoy anal stimulation, many enjoy performing anal sex as well. Clearly, the human species finds it "natural" and fulfilling to engage in many sexual practices. Though one must use caution with such broad stereotypes, many gay men, myself included, have never engaged in anal intercourse with men or women.
• After reading your most recent letter on premature ejaculation, I felt compelled to make a comment based on my own experience. I believe that this condition is a result of lack of trust in a specific woman or of women in general. Premature ejaculation is a protection against betrayal — real, imagined or projected. I would guess it is the result of some crossing of boundaries within the family in which he grew up. The only cure I have found is the development of trust which cannot be created in the abstract, but only within a relationship. This man's wife did nothing with her caustic comments but make the particular instance incurable. I have written this because discussion or advice from a third-party woman, no matter her experience or how well-intended, plays into the power dynamic between the sexes, which is very much involved in the creation and continuance of this form of impotence.
Many female sex therapists, including me, might disagree —Isadora
• What a prude you have become. Since when does sex between consenting adults cause psychological problems? Just because the two people who are involved are brother and sister does not mean that it is wrong. In every animal species (despite what you and the religious right think, we are animals), a certain amount of inbreeding occurs. This is necessary for the long-term survival of the species. It preserves beneficial traits that would otherwise be lost to outbreeding. Statistically, the amount of incest that goes on in human society is so little that when it does occur we should just ignore it. It does not harm anyone as long as all parties are of age and they consent to it. Sex is, after all, sex. Besides, even if we dropped all the taboos against incest, there would not be a rush to commit the act because most siblings do not find each other sexuality attractive. I do agree that they should not cheat on their spouse. They should instead go to Sweden and get married. It is legal for brothers and sisters to marry there.
Move to Sweden and leave the United States to religious right-wing prudes like me? —Isadora
• I am concerned about the advice you gave to the woman whose husband of 10 years is taking her temperature rectally in her sleep. This behavior is intensely abusive. Penetrating a person with an object in her sleep is rape, pure and simple. An unconscious person is not capable of giving consent. Asking how often he perpetrates this behavior, whether or not she's ever consented to it before, if she has asked him to stop or if it is a result of suppressed sexual fantasies is unnecessary and is blaming the victim. No one asks to be raped. Rape and abuse are not communication problems. Abusive actions such as marital rape are done for power and control, not for sexual gratification. Trying to talk the problem out is ineffective because abusers don't believe that their behavior is inappropriate. This man's behavior is not only inappropriate, but also illegal. She is right to consider divorce and should also consult her local battered-women's program or rape crisis center. And sometimes a cigar is only a cigar ... or a thermometer. —Isadora
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