DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have a secret man whom I see for alternative sex. By that, I mean just about anything you could imagine. We meet in his heated garage, where he supposedly works on his cars and he has a sofa bed. His wife is away a lot, and for weeks at a time. He says their arrangement is kind of loosey-goosey and he thinks she sees other men, but he doesn't ask. The point is he doesn't care. Recently we have been getting close as well as being experimental sex partners. My birthday came along and he gave me a custom-made silver ring with a sexual representation of our parts linked together, if you know what I mean. He says, "If you love me you'll wear it." I don't know what to do with it. I wore it to work and someone said, "Isn't that a man having sex with a woman?" and I never wore it again. He now says that was a test, and he knows I don't love him. What do you think? -- Don't Love Him? Winnipeg
Dear Don't: He sounds like control freak outside the bedroom, er, garage. Is he that way inside the garage, too? You'd be silly to force yourself to do anything that feels icky and you may be realizing you don't want to be a slave to this guy's weird ideas, outside the fooling around in private. Consider this a needed test of your feelings toward the man, not just as a sex partner. This may not be the lover for you much longer. And consider the fact he's married. His wife may be away fooling around or she may simply be away working out of town. It's time to go for coffee outside your trysting place and talk about everything -- including what that ring really means in terms of power and ownership and even proof of commitment.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am so hurt because my girlfriend won't make love with me anymore. She says we have to be friends for a while because she has some thinking to do. I told her that's nuts. You don't stop having sex to think. We are now on "a break" and it feels like hell. What do you think? -- All Mixed Up, Fort Richmond
Dear Mixed Up: Being on a break from sex, and being on a total break are both painful situations. You sound like a young guy and she sounds immature herself. How about you tell her you're ready for a complete break. You still have lots of options when everyone around you is young enough to be single. Don't put up with this heart-rending "break" stuff.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend and I tried a new position and he hurt himself where it counts. He's scared to go to a doctor to see if there's any permanent damage and says it seems a little better. What do you think? -- Scared, Downtown
Dear Scared: Get thee to a doctor, together! There's no time to fool around. Go with your boyfriend to his doctor or a walk-in clinic if he doesn't have one -- or ask if you can bring him into see your doctor, with you, immediately. Whisper to your doctor's nurse what's wrong on the phone. He may have trouble choking out what happened when you go. You can help tell the story and the doc can see what's going on. His most tender parts need to be carefully attended, especially if there's been an injury.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org