Dear Doc | So does this mean I'm a lesbian?
Q Good day, I am a woman who is in an emotional mess. Last year, I finally divorced my husband, who was a cruel and heartless man.
He used to beat me, two or three times for the week. And as far as sex was concerned, all he wanted was his pleasure. Again and again, he just discharged inside me, as fast as possible after which, he went straight to sleep.
Obviously, sex with him was no pleasure at all for me. I never had orgasms. The whole thing just disgusted and pained me.
He cheated on me countless times, which was why I ended the marriage. Since then, my life has been a lot more peaceful. But I still have bad dreams about him.
Well, about the beginning of this year I met a woman who is kind and thoughtful. She is a professional lady, and around five years older than me. We got on very well, and we started meeting three to four evenings a week.
She was extremely helpful and sympathetic about what I had been through with my ex.
One night I was telling her about my husband's cheating, and I was crying like my heart would break. To comfort me, she put her arms round me and hugged me. Suddenly, she was kissing me. And the evening finished with us kissing on the lips.
I cannot deny that I really liked this, though I felt guilty about it.
In the weeks that followed, things progressed. Although we never talked to each other about what we were doing, we did soon move on to going to bed together. I found this comforting.
After a while, we kind of progressed to more intimate stuff. Before very long, she gave me the first orgasm I had experienced in almost 20 years. I could not believe it.
And that is how things are at the moment, doctor. We are great fiends, and several times a week we go to bed together. I can assure you, life is more pleasant than it used to be.
But what I am asking you is this. In your medical opinion, am I really a lesbian? Or is it just that the comfort and sympathy that this lady has shown me have brought out some lesbian tendencies in me?
I need to know where I am going with my life.
A Clearly, you had a dreadful time during your marriage to that awful man. Frankly, it is not too surprising that you gave yourself to the first person who showed you sympathy and tenderness.
I can't help feeling that if a nice man had come along and offered kindness and understanding, you might have chosen him as your 'bed partner.'
But that is not how things worked out.
Now, let us turn to this question of whether you are - in your words - 'really a lesbian.'
The sexuality of women is like a line drawn between two points. At one end of the line are females who are exclusively straight. At the other end, are females who are exclusively gay.
Well, you are somewhere along that line. And there is no doubt that what happened with this sympathetic lady has drawn you some distance towards the gay end of it.
But people change, and it is not impossible that in future years, you might drift back towards the straight end. Much depends on how you get on with that woman and on whether you meet some man who sweeps you off your feet. At the moment, that seems a little unlikely.
I am concerned by the fact that you say you are 'in an emotional mess'. Obviously, you are not totally happy. Otherwise, you would not have written to me.
So I do think that you should find yourself a good counsellor or psychotherapist, and talk things over with her for a few months.
Nevertheless, it may well be that the emotional relationship which you have established with that kind and sympathetic woman is the one that will sustain you through life.
What are symptoms of prostate cancer?
Q What are the symptoms of cancer of the prostate? How would I know if I got it?
A Cancer of the prostate is really common in Jamaica, so it is important that all adult males should know about it.
However, there is a problem, in that, cancer of the prostate produces similar symptoms to those of benign (non-cancerous) prostatic enlargement. It takes an expert doctor to distinguish between the two.
Chief symptoms of this cancer are:
• Having to urinate often at night.
• Difficulty in starting to urinate.
• A really poor stream.
• A burning feelings while urinating.
• Painful orgasms.
• Blood in the urineor in the 'man-fluid'.
• Unexplained pain in the lowest part of the back.
If you have any of these symptoms, don't panic! Just go to a doctor, and let him diagnose the cause of your problems.
Is the Mini-Pill as effective as the Pill?
Q As I am approaching 40, my doctor wants me to come off the Pill and try the Mini-Pill. But I have heard that it is not as effective as the Pill.
Is that true?
A Well, it is milder than the ordinary Pill, and, therefore, slightly less effective in preventing pregnancy.
But for many women in their late 30s, it is a really good method of contraception.
This is because fertility usually declines as a woman progresses through her 30s. So if you do go on the Mini-Pill, your chances of unintended pregnancy would not be very great.
Should I go with a prostitute?
Q I am a guy of 26, and I have never had sex. Do you think I should go with a prostitute, just to 'break myself in'?
A Certainly not. For a start, you might well pick up a sexually-transmitted infection.
Also, 'ladies of the night' are not really noted for their skills in helping anxious young males to lose their virginity. They tend to be busy people, who do not have a lot of time to spare.
I feel that you should think in terms of establishing a long-term relationship with a nice, kind woman. Who knows? She might turn out to be your partner for life.
Does 'male menopause' exist?
Q Is there such a thing as a 'male menopause'? I have been reading about this subject on the Internet, and I am beginning to believe that I may have it. I am 34.
A The word 'menopause' means 'cessation of the periods'. And as you will have noticed, guys do not have periods.
There are some doctors - particularly in America and England - who are promoting the idea of a 'male menopause'. They use the term to mean 'any kind of loss of vigour - particularly sexual vigour'. And they say that it is due to a fall in male hormone levels.
Frankly, I do not think that there is all that much scientific justification for the idea of a male menopause. And at the age of 34, it seems pretty unlikely that you are suffering from it.
But if you are having problems with your virility, then you should go to a doctor, and have a full examination, plus urine and blood tests. If the doctor thinks there is any chance that you have a hormone problem, she can check the level of male hormone (testosterone) in the blood.