Thursday, May 24, 2012

Q.   My boyfriend dumped me last year and I had problems getting over him, but when we get drunk, we sleep together again.  Is he using me?  I'm happy getting regular sex but I don't even find him attractive any more - how do I break the cycle?

A.   You're both using each other for sex.  If you're happy with this arrangement then carry on, but bear in mind that he may be having sex with other people too, so look after your own sexual health and insist on condoms.  The first step to breaking the cycle could be to stop drinking so much, so you're more in control of your decisions.  Would you sleep with him if you bumped into him in a cafe at lunchtime?  Probably not.  Go out to different places as well, so you won't meet him and be tempted.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Q.   I've made a huge mistake - I broke up with my boyfriend of one year for a crush who turned out to be using me.  Now I'm ashamed of how I treated my boyfriend.  Is it too late to beg him to take me back?

A.   It won't hurt to tell your ex how sorry you are.  You can do this via a letter or email, or face to face.  Rather than telling him you chose your crush over him, just say you realise you made a mistake, that you're aware how much this hurt him and you're sorry.  He might have questions about why you broke up, so give him time to speak, and listen.  This doesn't mean he'll want to get back together though.  Tell him you'd like to, but if he doesn't want to then you'll need to move on.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Q.   I've been in a relationship for over a year, but my bloke's very secretive about his exes.  I don't know anything about them other than what I've found on Facebook and I know he's been talking to one of them, even though he's denied it.  I just want him to be honest with me - what can I do?

A.   Is he a bit secretive or are you a bit nosy?  You may have told him you want honesty but have you asked him what he wants?  It's good to establish ground rules in relationships, but you both have to agree on them, otherwise it becomes controlling.  He may not want to 'tell all' because he doesn't feel it's relevant or he fears your reaction.  In any relationship there has to be room for each person to have his or her own private thoughts and you don't seem to want to acknowledge that.  Ask yourself if he's giving you any reason to feel insecure or if you need to work on your self-esteem.  Chat about ground rules and come to a joint decision about what you want to divulge.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Q.   My girlfriend has had 30 lovers.  I said I'd had 20 but really I've only had eight.  She was worried I'd think less of her.  I told her that I didn't but I kind of do.  She's only 25 - three years younger than me.  Doesn't that make her a bit of a slut?

A.   If you switched those numbers around, would you worry about being judged, or would you feel proud of the notches on your bedpost?  It's a fact that women in their youth have a lot of sex they later regret, whereas men have a lot of regret about not getting more sex in their youth.  If you ask your girlfriend how many of those 30 men she feels good about, the number will probably be closer to yours.  And if you're honest about the women you've wanted to sleep with, but didn't manage to get into bed, wouldn't it be as high as hers?  Whether you think she's a 'slut' is for you to decide (if you feel you have the right) but one thing is for sure - your girlfriend has been upfront about her sexual history, which makes her honest, trusting and brave, and that's more than can be said for you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Q.   I can't be faithful.  Even if I'm having great sex with a guy I'm seeing, I still crave sex with strangers.  I look at dogging sites and masturbate to porn every day.  I feel like a horrible pervert but I can't seem to stop.  What's wrong with me?

A.   It sounds like sex addiction, which is as dangerous as addiction to drugs and alcohol.  Sex addicts don't simply love sex; they live in shame and secrecy, feeling helpless and isolated.  If you feel out of control, you might have a problem that, left untreated, will only get worse.  You can read up on it at  I don't mean to scare you but you must take your health and safety seriously.  Risky behaviour produces chemicals in the brain that can be addictive and make you act in dangerous ways.  The good news is that recovery is possible and there's help out there.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Q.   I've started seeing a bloke who I really like, but it's only been a few months and he's already acting like we've been together for years, which I'm finding very intense.  I found out he broke up with his girlfriend of four years only a few weeks before we got together.  Is he just trying to replace his ex with me?

A.   Rushing into a new relationship after the break-up of a long-term one means that we can try too hard to make the new one work.  Worse still, the new partner often suffers for the sins of the ex, in your case, you only say that he's a bit intense.  So for the time being just take things with a pinch of salt.  He's making the effort and clearly wants to make it work, and is looking to the long-term.  As long as you like him enough and want similar things, then hopefully he'll begin to lighten up.  However, if his intensity begins to make you feel uncomfortable, ask, 'Why does it seem as if we've been together ages?' and see what response you get.  Give him reassurance if you think he's feeling a little insecure, but don't let him try to control you.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Q.   My friend treats blokes terribly.  She always has several on the go and doesn't care about their feelings.  Every bloke I meet thinks I'm the same as her so they lose interest.  How can I show them I'm not like her?

A.   We tend to choose our friends for qualities we admire or that we share, so by hanging around with her you will always risk turning other men off.  It's probably best to avoid going on the pull together, or if you do, make sure you avoid dressing alike or using mirrored body language, as it will look as though you're like-minded.  You could also point out to any blokes you do like that you're like chalk and cheese.  The best way to change a reputation is by example though.  If you date a nice bloke for a while, everyone should see that you're very different from your friend.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Q.   My ex was really protective, always called me to see how I was and really took care of me.  My new boyfriend doesn't give me as much attention, which makes me feel like he doesn't like me as much.  I don't want to seem clingy, but how can I tell him he needs to show his feelings more?

A.   Firstly, you're going to have to accept that he's a different person and you may not ever get the same attention as your ex gave you.  However, that doesn't mean your new bloke can't change.  You just need to be realistic.  Start by giving feedback on what he does right.  Tell him it makes you feel good and he will be more likely to do it again.  Next, work out what is the most important thing he could do and mention it to him.  Pick a quiet moment together and just say, 'I'd really like it if you did this or this' and tell him how it would make you feel.  Whatever you do, don't start comparing him to your ex.  You have to accept him for who he is.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Q.   My boyfriend and brother hate each other.  I've been with my boyfriend for a while now and my brother still won't accept it.  Help!

A.   You need to ask your brother why he dislikes your boyfriend - maybe it's just that he feels protective and doesn't think your man is good enough for you.  They probably see each other as an alpha male threat - they both want to be the most important man in your life.  Explain that he's doing you no favours by making things hard - hopefully he'll just want you to be happy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Q.   I have small boobs and my boyfriend of over a year has always insisted he prefers them that size.  But I've recently found out the looks at women with big breasts on the internet.  Every time we talk about it we argue.  What do I do?

A.   Sexual appetites can be quite complicated and some people have contradictory tastes.  It could be that he likes to look at big breasts but not touch them.  The reason you're arguing is that, understandably, this has hit a nerve for you.  So when you do talk, ask him to explain how he feels, and let him do all the talking without interrupting him.  Start by saying that although you feel hurt you want to understand how he feels.  He may not even know why he has this conflict.  Letting him talk may help him work it out.  Don't feel tempted to dive in too soon with your side.  Take time to think about it and then explain to him how you feel about his online hobby.  Taking the heat out of the situation may help you both come to an understanding.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Q.   I recently found out that my husband was a womaniser in his past.  We ran into some of his old friends who were teasing him about being married and that he used to be such a 'man about town'.  I asked him what they meant by it and he eventually admitted that he'd slept with more than 100 women.  I'm shocked because this doesn't fit with my perception of him and I'm not sure how to handle it.

A.   It's normal to feel betrayed in this situation and think 'What else has he lied about or omitted to tell me?'  But it's important to remember that he hasn't actually lied to you and I suspect the only reason he didn't tell you about is past is that he's ashamed and thought you might judge him for it.  So what if he was a womaniser?  This is what he did before he met you.  It's how he's behaved since that matters.  I'm assuming, of course, that he practised safe sex and you both got tested for STIs before ditching the condoms.  Having said all this, you do need to talk this through so it doesn't fester.  Ask him, as calmly as possible, why he didn't mention this before or at least hint that he'd had lots of women.  We all have secrets we're not proud of and we're all capable of changing.  We had every opportunity to choose any of those 100 women to spend his life with.  He chose you. Be flattered, not hurt or upset.

Q.   I've been told the man I love is having an affair with a colleague.  I never had a reason to doubt him before but a family member (who doesn't like him) told me the news, saying they'd heard it from someone else.  I can't confront him as he's working abroad.  What should I do?

A.   It's not confrontation you need now, only information.  If you can't visit him, send an email or a letter expressing warm affection and trust, not angry suspicions.  The speed and tone of his reply should tell you more than any spiteful gossip who dislikes your man.  Yes, love is risky.  Love can betray.  And love can hurt like hell.  But until there is evidence of wrongdoing, love deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Q.   A close male friend of mine is a secret cross-dresser.  Lately he says it's getting him depressed because he feels it's wrong.  I love him as a friend and want to help.

A.   Many experts say that cross-dressing or transvestism usually expresses not a desire to be a woman, but merely to be seen as a woman and to feel like one in sexy garments.  Many male transvestites actively prefer relationships with women; a husband's taste for cross-dressing is not an uncommon secret within loving marriages.  To ease your friend's worries, go online for information and helplines you can pass on to him.  If knowledge of other transvestites doesn't comfort him, he should try counselling - not for cross-dressing but for his shameful feelings.