DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I hope your readers won't think me a tramp, but I'm a woman of a certain age with an amazing sex life. (Amazing to me anyway!) I never had this much attention when I was a single divorcée between my two husbands, or when I was young. I'm currently dating two men in the Winnipeg area and have one sweetheart online from another continent. They are all great fun, though I'm not in love. The local relationships are also physical. I'm an athlete, so I meet lots of men, especially through running and racquet sports. My question is this. I don't expect my boyfriends to be true to me, as I refuse to tie myself down with one guy when I'm having so much fun. But, when I ask both of my lovers to wear protection, they protest. I know the statistics are surprisingly high for sexually-transmitted infections (STI's) in the older crowd. Those guys think condoms are only there to prevent pregnancy. One of my male friends is quite the playboy and I particularly don't trust his other women. What can I say when my men argue with me? -- Too Nice, St. Vital
Dear Nice: Some attitudes entertain argument, while others definitely don't. Forget the ingratiating smile and say matter-of-factly, "Nothing doing, unless you wear a condom." I've had some sad letters from mature men and women who thought their new partners would never give them anything -- as if diseases are only for the young. If you are playing the field, you must always protect each other. If you finally settle down with one partner, you must get tested and re-tested months later to make sure you or he have nothing that's nasty to pass on before you throw away the protection. Even then you don't know 100 per cent if somebody is lying and sneaking around. So stand firm, no apologies.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I want a nice girl but I'm attracted to the gorgeous women and I'm good enough looking to get them. The ones my mom calls "girl-next-door" types just leave me cold. It's hard to find a glamourous, tall and beautiful woman in Winnipeg who doesn't know it. I'm sure they exist but I'm not finding any on the nightclub scene. Surely, great beauty can exist inside and outside at the same time. How do I fish for that? The silliness of a lot of these women annoys me, especially when they're into the drinking. -- Wanting More, River Heights
Dear Wanting More: When a woman has to be outright glamorous to attract you, and that serves as a measure of your own handsomeness, you're playing in the shallow end of the pool. Plus, the only place you mention meeting women is in the bars. Women who are beautiful inside and out exist everywhere, and there are also some at the bars (but most are out to party on those nights). So, if that's your only hunting grounds and you're serious about making a change, look for an attractive woman who isn't getting drunk and silly -- like the designated driver who's willing to look after her friends. Look for the woman who wants to talk about life and world issues, who loves family, has pets, wears her beauty casually and isn't forever checking her hair and makeup or adjusting her clothes. Then take a look at the man in the mirror and see if you're a match. You think you've been meeting gorgeous airheads up to this point. Why would that be? Maybe it's time to make some changes in you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I hate the secretary of my boss. She rules the office, and he sits around with very little to do. I know 1,000 per cent more about the products we sell than she does, yet she's constantly telling me what to do and whom I should be calling to make sales. She has made my boss completely dependent on her by taking on a lot of his work responsibilities. How do I change this situation, because I can't stand it much longer. Do I think she's sleeping with him? Wouldn't surprise me. -- Supremely Irritated, Winnipeg
Dear Supremely: You can't tell him she's a pain if your boss is involved with her. Ditto for telling her off. You can't ask him questions about all the areas she's taken over, or you'll just be referred back to her. You have two choices: 1) move companies or 2) try to sell as much or more, making sales phone calls from outside the office. You won't miss her and she won't miss you. Think she doesn't know you despise her? Oh, she knows.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Wpg, R2X 3B6, or email firstname.lastname@example.org