DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I met my latest passion at a fetish ball and things were going great until she switched fetishes. Now she wants to be the topper and I'm not so willing to be anyone's love slave. She says she's going through an experimental period because she's young and wants to be "versatile." To heck with versatile. I just want to be her sultan and she can keep belly-dancing for me, serving me drinks and pleasing me. I love this. Why would I want to change when I've got it made? -- Her Sultan, Winnipeg
Dear Sultan: The submissive's power is in saying no and stopping the whole scene at any time. You should be aware you're perilously close to the tent flap right now. Since you've been warned, be a good sport and give the love-slave role a real try. Your girlfriend may be curious, but people with a submissive tendency tend to find dominance a little too much "work" after a short while. They quickly get tired of coming up with all the ideas for scenes and leading the way. Think about it in the long run. If you refuse to hand over the rein of control for a time, you may find the tent folded up and your lady gone -- poof!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am a single gay man in his mid-40s dealing with loneliness. It has been very difficult for me trying to find that special someone. It has been a long road coming to terms with who I am and dealing with rejection from others. I don't have a lot of friends and have relied upon my family for support. I've always had a difficult time meeting and making friends. I'm worried I'm getting too old and "late to the party" with no good, honest guy left who'd love and accept me.
I've spent many years making sure I got a good education and job, but fell short in my personal life. I've have always had to do many things on my own socially, which can be very hard and lonely. Counselling met with limited success. I've tried courses, gym, groups, bars and Internet dating sites with no luck. I tend to feel disappointed with myself and have cried many times, feeling lonely and lost. I'm not sure what to do now as I have exhausted so many avenues and feel like giving up. -- Lonely, Winnipeg
Dear Lonely: Is it correct to assume you are a shy person with a fair amount of self-knowledge? Let's go at this from another angle: what would you say are the stumbling blocks for you socially, not just as a gay man? Do you find it hard to break the ice, or are you OK with small talk, but choke up when it's time to really get to know someone one on one? Are you able to ask someone out for dinner? Can you cook and entertain at home for someone on a date? Do you have your own place or do you still live with family? What are your hobbies and interests? We need a list. Write back with answers to these questions and I can be of much more help with specifics and a plan.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6