Outlook's trusted family doctor has been faithfully answering your health and relationship questions over time. This week, we present 12 of the most engaging queries for 2012.
He wears my dresses!
Doctor, I am 26 and engaged to a very attractive man. I love him - or I did 'til last week. You see, the other day I came home early and found him in the bedroom, trying on one of my dresses!
This was a terrible shock for me. Am I right in thinking that it means he is a secret homosexual?
You may be surprised when I tell you no. Most people assume that if a man dresses up in women's clothes, he must be gay. But that is not necessarily so.
Sex experts have found that a lot of these men are actually heterosexual. In other words, they like women and want to have sex with them.
Admittedly, there are some homosexual men who like cross-dressing. There have been several well-publicised incidents of 'gay transvestism' in Jamaica recently.
But there are many other men who are straight, yet they get some sort of thrill from donning women's clothes.
In trying to come up with an answer, some psychologists have suggested that when the man was very small (say, two or three years old), he got some kind of sensual pleasure from the feel of his mother's clothes.
That may be true. But whatever the reason, these men have a powerful drive to put on skirts and blouses, and even bras. From past medical experience, I can tell you that it is difficult to persuade them to stop doing this.
You could try and persuade your fiancÚ to see a therapist and maybe that would help him. However, I am not sure that this therapy would work.
I must tell you that in some countries, notably the United States and France, there are women who willingly marry cross-dressing men. Apparently, husband and wife then spend happy evenings together, wearing dresses.
I am doubtful whether this solution would appeal to you. So if your fiancÚ wants to go on with his transvestite habit, you may perhaps have to tell him 'goodbye' and look elsewhere for a partner.
He needs to last longer
Doctor, I'm a 33-year-old married woman, and my sex life is good, except for one thing.
Whenever my husband and I are making love, I get very excited. But just as I am about to have an orgasm, my husband climaxes. Then he says, 'Thank you, my darling,' and rolls over and goes to sleep!
Personally, I think he may have 'premature ejaculation' because he never lasts more than four minutes. And that is certainly not enough for me, Doc. I am getting very, very frustrated. What can I do, Doc?
You say that your husband never lasts for more than four minutes, but experts would argue about whether that constitutes true premature ejaculation (PE) or not. Frankly, there are many husbands who regard four minutes as quite adequate. But what is certain is that it is not enough for you.
Your husband must be aware that time and time again he is leaving you in a state of immense frustration! So my best suggestion is that you sit him down, show him my answer - and see what he says.
In my view, he should do two things:
He must make some effort to last longer. I doubt he needs to take any medication in order to achieve this. All he needs to do is make a conscious effort to slow down, while listening to your breathing to determine whether you are getting close to an orgasm.
He should try to use his foreplay skills in order to make you have an orgasm.
For instance, during sex, he could gently stimulate your clitoris with his fingertips.
Finally, he really should not 'roll over and go to sleep' as soon as he has finished. That is not very thoughtful behaviour! He should stay awake until he is sure that you are satisfied.
Do rats attack the genitals?
Doc, there have been a lot of rats round our area, and I am terrified that one of them might bite my penis in the night. Is this likely?
Rats do not often make unprovoked attacks on human beings. And so far, I have not encountered a case where one bit a guy's organ. If you did get bitten anywhere on your body, wash the bite immediately with plenty soap and water. And see a doc as soon as possible for advice about the infection called leptospirosis. Finally, make sure that there is no trash near your house, particularly rubbish with food in it. That is what usually attracts rodents.
Can an electric toothbrush hurt?
Doc, since my husband died last year, I must confess that I have been relieving my frustration with the aid of an electric toothbrush. Is it OK to do this?
Frankly, it is not a very wise habit. The bristles may damage the delicate tissues of your intimate parts.
I am sorry to hear that your husband has passed away. But it is understandable that, like many widows, you are still quite highly sexed. So if you need something that vibrates in order to relieve your erotic tension, why not just buy yourself a purpose-designed vibrator?
These devices are clean and safe to use. You can buy them without embarrassment via the Internet. Just google the word 'vibrator' and you will find thousands of different types offered for sale.
Is there a lab test for cheating ?
Doc, are there any lab tests which can show whether a wife has been cheating on her husband? I think that my wife is being unfaithful to me. And the man whom I suspect as the 'other man' is my brother.
She and I have been married around nine years, and I have a feeling that she is getting a little bored with me, especially as I am away from home a lot because of my job, which is working for the government. She is a very attractive woman.
My brother has been living at our place for
around six months, using it as a base while he finds work in Kingston. He and my wife have always got on very well. Recently I have realised that most days they can spend quite a few hours together in the house. The neighbours would not think there is anything odd about that because they know he is part of my family.
Well, last week I came home feeling quite sexy. I knew that my brother would be out, and I thought this would be a good time to take my wife to bed. I was really looking forward to that.
However, when my wife met me at the front door, she seemed a little flustered, as though she had been busy doing something. When I kissed her though, she did kiss me back, and she was very willing to take her clothes off and get into bed.
Doc, it did strike me that the bed was kind of warm for that time of the afternoon, but I paid that any mind. What really surprised me was that my wife seemed extraordinarily wet, even before we started to have sex.
As you can imagine, this set me thinking, Doc. I really wonder if she had had intercourse with my brother earlier that afternoon. That would explain why the bed was quite warm, and why she was so damp.
What do you think, doctor? From your experience, do you feel it is likely that she has been having sex with him?
Also, next time something like this happens, is there some way that I could discreetly fix up a lab test to find out if she has had sex with him earlier that day? I thought that maybe I could somehow take a vaginal swab, and ask a lab to do DNA tests on it.
That is a most alarming story. This situation is likely to 'blow up' into real trouble unless you are very careful.
My first comment is that it is crazy to leave your brother alone in the house with your attractive wife for hours at a time on most days of the week. That 'set-up' is just inviting them to have sex.
So I am sure that you should now tell your brother to go. He has been in your home long enough, and he must find a place of his own.
Now you ask about DNA testing. Technically, it would indeed be possible to test a woman's vaginal secretions to find out who she had had sex with earlier that day.
But arranging such a test would be very difficult. You would need your wife's consent, and I doubt if she would give that. Also, the cost would be considerable.
Frankly, the best thing you can do at the moment is to get your brother out of your home, and then arrange some good marriage counselling for you and your wife. I wish you both well.
She left me for a woman
Doctor, I am feeling very down, and the reason is this: my wife and I have been married for 11 years, and I thought we were happy. But the amazing thing is that she has just left me for another woman. I cannot believe this. I had no idea that she had lesbian tendencies.
We have no children. Our marriage was pretty good, I would say. Occasionally, she complained that I didn't satisfy her in bed, or that I discharged too soon, and that I immediately went to sleep. But apart from that, everything was fine.
Then one evening last month, I came home and found a letter from her on the table. In it, she said that she had fallen in love with her best friend at work, who is a really attractive woman. Apparently, they had decided to run away together, heading for America to start with.
Doc, I am really bewildered by these events. Why did she do this to me? Is she really a lesbian, or is she just 'playing at it' in some way? Most of all, I am worried that it may all have been my fault. Could I have done something that made her into a lesbian?
Also, do you think she will come back? I don't know if she will be allowed to stay in the US, or whether either of them have visas. Is lesbianism illegal in America?
Well, I am sorry to hear about all this trouble. It is probably a good thing that you have no children with this woman because the strain on the children could be quite severe.
And it is always really stressful for a husband if his wife leaves him for a woman. Like you, many of these men start wondering if they have somehow turned their wives into lesbians.
But that is really not possible. I would guess that your spouse has had some lifelong lesbian tendencies. If so, it is not all that surprising that she fell in love with a good-looking woman at work, especially if the two of them shared many interests, and spent a lot of time together. I doubt if she will change now.
What you say about your sex life with your wife does make rather sad reading. Sounds like you often left her frustrated, and fell asleep without bringing her to orgasm.
I suspect that that type of thing does not occur with her new lover. Experts say that, in general, lesbians are very good at ensuring their partners reach climaxes - simply because of the fact that they understand precisely which 'love play' techniques are enjoyable for a woman.
Frankly, I am very doubtful if your wife will ever come back to you. I think you better get your head around the idea that she has gone. In the fullness of time, you had better think about consulting a good divorce lawyer.
Finally, I have no idea what your wife's visa status is in the United States. But lesbianism has been legal in all of America, since a Supreme Court ruling in 2003, so she will not run into problems with the police because of having sex with another woman. I wish you well in coping with what has happened. Please do NOT rush into any new relationships! You must give yourself time to recover.
Husband addicted to porn
Doctor, I always knew that my husband liked looking at porn occasionally. I can live with that.
But the other night, I came into the room where he keeps his computer. He had left it switched on. And there on the screen was a most lascivious message, addressed to him, from a woman in Canada. I could not believe it, Doc.
I sat down and read it. It made it clear that they have never met, but that she knows what he looks like. And to be frank, it indicated that her favourite occupation in the evening is to bring herself to an orgasm while they are exchanging erotic messages by email.
I am absolutely disgusted by this, doctor. So far, I have not told my husband what I know. But he is aware that something is wrong because I have refused to have sex with him since that night.
Is he some kind of pervert? And is she the same sort of weirdo? Does what they have been doing count as 'cheating', and would it be grounds for divorce?
Real sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation. What your husband has been going in for is called cybersex. It is also known as Internet sex or (for some reason) mud sex.
Like you, I find this practice pretty bizarre. But there is no doubt that it is common. Experts say that hundreds of thousands of men and women throughout the world go in for it. Many participants seem to be middle-aged or elderly. My impression is that very few young people indulge in this kind of thing.
At the start, what generally happens is that somebody like your spouse clicks into a cybersex chat room. There, he is likely to find a lot of women, located in various countries, who are willing to talk to him on line.
All the participants are out for an erotic thrill, so not surprisingly, they soon start chatting about sexual activity. I understand that it is extremely common for a man and a woman to form a temporary 'couple' and to begin sending each other sex messages. They might also send each other pictures, some of which might be intimate ones.
Often, the male and the female masturbate while they are talking to one another via their computers. So quite frequently, you may have a situation where both of them are orgasming at the same time, even though one of them is (say) in Australia and the other is maybe in South America.
Why do people do this? Well, very frequently it is because they are lonely, or because they are dissatisfied with their marriages. That is a most important point for you to take on board, because I do not think your husband would be doing this if he were totally happy with the marital relationship.
You ask whether what your man has been doing counts as cheating. Well, it certainly does not amount to adultery, which in Jamaican law means actual sexual intercourse between a man and a woman, at least one of whom is married to somebody else.
And whatever else one may say about your husband's behaviour, he does not appear to have had actual physical sex with the lady in Canada because she is several thousand miles away.
You also enquire whether this cybersex is grounds for divorce. Well, under Jamaica's Matrimonial Causes Act (Section Five), anybody who wants a divorce has to prove the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The divorce judge might perhaps take evidence of cybersex into account, but it would need quite a bit more than that to prove 'irretrievable breakdown'.
So what on earth should you do now? The first thing is to sit down and talk with your husband. Tell him how you feel about all this cybersex, including how upset you are by it. Make it clear to him that you have actually been considering divorce.
Then the two of you should go and have a session with a marriage counsellor or therapist who would be able to help save your marriage from the rocks.