Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: How do I tell my husband he's responsible for a failure to launch me, since Day 1? I am from a conservative Mennonite family. I got married this last year and still don't know what an orgasm feels like. I was a virgin when I got married, but I'd read the sex manuals already. My husband read nothing and said it would "just come naturally." It didn't. He isn't very good at sex so I gave him a timeline -- Dec. 31 -- to improve himself, and then I decided I'd say something about it on New Year's Day. That day is coming fast. What do I say? -- Ready To Tell Him, Winnipeg
Dear Ready: Give it one more month before you say anything. Buy a manual that teaches you different techniques to give yourself an orgasm, then you will create those necessary pathways in your brain. You will know when things are starting to accelerate and proceed in the direction of a climax. Once you know, you can teach him exactly what will please you and get you all the way there, with your physical help, too. If you criticize him and tell him he's a failure as a lover he will lose confidence. For most men, self-confidence, plus knowledge, is what they need for success. Sex is not about him working on you to bring you to a climax, it is about bringing each other to the fireworks together. Leave your best manual lying around in the bathroom (where everybody knows people will read anything) and he will secretly pick it up and investigate. Don't devastate your young husband. Trick him into being successful.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is a response from one purple-haired, successful 28-year-old women to the one who wrote about her mom's disapproval. Keep the purple hair and laugh off your mother's comments. Defend your look and you sound unsure; make a light joke and change the subject and you take away her power. Say something like, "OK, mom, like you don't want to rock purple hair." Throw in a wink, then say, "So do you know what you are baking for Christmas? Did you need any help with dinner?" Not only did you make a light joke while changing the subject, but now you are a helpful daughter. If she is looking for a fight, don't give her the reaction she is expecting and she'll have to respond differently. As we get older, we accept them and their flaws and they accept us as we are. Worry less about changing her mind and more about her seeing the wonderful woman you are, purple hair included. Of course, if they want to see their grandchildren one day, they'll have to just pretend they like us for a few more years. Haha! -- Ms. Grape, Winnipeg
Dear Ms. Grape: Thanks for your excellent input! Another technique to use with parents is to put your arm around them and say, "Then we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one," and change the subject to something safer and more fun. If the parent keeps harping on the subject, you then say firmly: "You've brought this up three times now and I won't be moving my stance on it, so we're wasting a lot of time. I love you guys. We'll have to talk about other things from now on." Then you are taking the reins, and they will know it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just have to respond to the woman not knowing what to do this season. You mentioned adopting a pet. Almost three weeks ago we had to put down our beloved cat because of age and ill health. My husband hadn't laughed or smiled for almost two months, knowing what was coming. I learned of the humane society's foster parent program and was thrilled at the prospect of helping nurture animals that need a home temporarily.
In the last week my husband has laughed and smiled more than I have seen in a long time thanks to the addition of several kittens. We have the love and home to provide what they need to prepare them for a lifetime of love, affection and attachment with a new family one day. We also look forward to providing a safe place for cats that have been injured. It's only one animal at a time (unless it's a litter) but it sure makes life more meaningful. It's the best decision we have ever made. -- Home is Where the Heart Is, Winnipeg
Dear Home: I have also fostered pets in the past and can attest that it is a great experience, and agree it is a great stop-gap measure for a person who isn't sure if they'd like the full-time responsibility of pet ownership. The first day the kittens (who had no mom) were so terrified they totally disappeared. I looked everywhere and finally found the three of them cuddled in my bottom drawer full of sweaters. When I took them back to D'Arcy's A.R.C. (a no-kill shelter on Route 90) they were socialized enough to be adopted quickly, I am proud to say. I heartily recommend doing this.