Doctor's Advice: Hot chicks give me butterflies
Doc, why am I so nervous with girls?
I am a guy in my early 20s, and whenever I am near a woman, I seem to get tongue-tied and I start stammering. I feel my heart beating as if death is near! I find it really difficult to ask a young lady to go out with me.
However, I am told that they find me quite attractive. Some women say I am very handsome, though I cannot see it myself.
The only way I can manage to talk to ladies is if I have drunk some alcohol first. Quite recently, I had to drink three beers before I could manage to ask a girl if she would come out with me that night.
As far as sex is concerned, I am still a virgin. I have been in a bedroom situation with girls on three or four occasions, and they have made it clear that they wanted to have sex with me. But I was so nervous and trembling that I could not get an erection.
Why am I like this, Doc? A friend said it is happening because my mother was so bossy and was always yelling at me and hitting me when I was small.
A Well, it is possible that your nervousness with females is linked to your mother being quite a frightening figure.
Be that as it may, you are now a grown man and you have to deal with your life as it is now. I don't think you would gain anything by constantly going back in your memory and analysing your feelings about your mother.
Your current problem is clearly anxiety. Unfortunately, when a human being gets very anxious, what happens is that the brain and the body start pouring out various anxiety hormones into the bloodstream.
These hormones can have all sorts of effects. For instance, they can produce:
Thumping in the chest
In ability to speak properly
Inability to get a good erection
As you have found for yourself, small doses of alcohol do tend to abolish anxiety symptoms for a short time. However, I wouldn't recommend drinking beer or rum as a way of addressing your anxiety.
Why not? You would soon find that you needed more and more alcohol to subdue your anxiety. These larger amounts of liquor can easily affect a person's coordination ands judgement. I have seen a number of young men and women who have become addicted to alcohol as a result of using it to try to overcome nervousness.
Much the same is true of tranquillisers. These drugs can give some short-term relief of anxiety, but people tend to end up needing more and more of them - and eventually becoming hooked.
So what should you do now? I feel that your anxiety is so severe that you really do need help from a professional to defeat it.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that you consult a therapist or counsellor. She can show you various ways of dealing with anxiety symptoms, for instance, by using special breathing techniques that relax the body.
Also, she can show you that it is no big deal if you get anxious in the presence of women, and that nothing terrible will happen if you experience some anxiety symptoms.
For instance, if you feel your heart beating when you talk to a female, that doesn't mean that you are about to die!
I imagine that the therapist or counsellor will also point out to you that many women actually like it if a young guy is a little diffident and shy! It makes a pleasant change from the boastfulness and arrogance that one sees in so many younger males.
I am a 19-year-old woman. On the last occasion when I have sex, I noticed a little bleeding afterwards.
Is this serious?
AProbably not at your young age but you should have an internal check-up from a doc.
Could giving oral sex to a girl cause me to catch a sexual infection?
A There is a small chance that you could acquire gonorrhoea ('the clap') in the throat. If in doubt, have a doc check out the back of your throat. If necessary, he could take a throat swab and send it to the lab for testing.
I am a 22-year-old woman. While I was in a hotel toilet, I accidentally touched a small pool of some other woman's urine on the seat.
Could this have given me an infection?
A That is almost impossible, so quit fretting.
We are a young married couple who would like to have a baby. No luck so far!
How long should we keep trying before seeking medical help?
A If you have been trying for around nine months with no success, in my view, it is time for you both to consult a doc.
I am a 20-year-old man. When I was younger, I masturbated quite a bit.
Could that make me infertile, Doc?
A No. There is no way that masturbation can affect your fertility.
I am 25 years old and have to do quite a lot of speaking and presentations at meetings. Often, just before I start to speak, I can feel a big lump in my throat.
What is this? I went to a doctor, and she said it was "just a globus". But I do not know what that means.
A The term globus simply means a lump in the throat because of the muscles tightening up under stress. Usually, the sensation of a lump goes away as soon as the person relaxes.
I assume that the doc has examined your throat and neck and has established that there is nothing structurally wrong. Your next move should be to talk to her about ways of relaxing the muscles in the throat, so you will no longer get this feeling when you are under stress.
I am a woman in my early 30s. Over the last few years, I have been losing weight, even though I have a much bigger appetite than anyone in my family!
Also, I am quite nervous and jumpy, and I pour with sweat on very hot days.
A All these symptoms suggest that you may well have an overactive thyroid gland. This is quite common in women.
It can easily be treated, so please see a doc right away for a physical examination and blood tests.
Email questions for Doc to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also read Doc's column in Outlook magazine in The Sunday Gleaner.