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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My sex life is down to zero, and it’s no one’s fault but mine. I’m only 47 and have lost my drive. My equipment won’t work. In fact, the whole intimacy thing turns me off. I wish I had my own bedroom. There’s nothing wrong with my wife, but it’s just not there for me — it won’t go up, even with stimulation from porn.
You should see my wife. She’s attractive, fun and sexual, and I’m going to lose her if I don’t smarten up, or so my best friend tells me. P.S. I have no attraction to men, either, so don’t get that into your head.
— Loser in the Bedroom, West End
Dear Loser in the Bedroom: First, it’s not "your fault." Start looking outward rather than blaming yourself. You definitely don’t want to be in this situation and if you could fix it, you would.
Look, your sexual "equipment" can’t work when there’s other things pressing the stop button. Many different things can turn a person off.
If you open up and talk, your family doctor will listen closely and do some tests on your overall health and probably send you to a specialist — maybe a urologist — to find out what’s happening in your body.
Your personal life may be making you stall out. Are you in secret financial trouble? Do you dislike your job/career? Are you working double shifts and always beat, perhaps supporting kids in school or college? And are you self-medicating with drugs?
As for your wife and sex partner, are you hiding anger with her over things you can’t discuss? Are you terrified of her getting pregnant again?
See your family doctor ASAP and let it all out. If you can’t, because your feelings are so mixed up, you may want to see a psychologist to help you sort it out — issue by issue.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I read the bullying article of the little boy with glasses, and the boy with the curly hair. Bullying... so sad to hear of the heartache it causes.
I was a bully, one time only. That was enough! It happened in elementary school. There was a boy born with one leg shorter. Someone made up a poem. His name, and the bum leg, all rhymed. So, we all sang that song. He became angry, and rightfully so. He started to chase us, so we all ran.
Everyone was faster than me, so he caught up and hit me. Not hard. I hardly felt it. But, my feelings were hurt, and I went home.
Before walking in the door, I started crying. My dad asked me why I was crying. I told him the boy’s name, and that he hit me. He wanted to know why he hit me. I said, "For no reason, he just hit me!"
"Well, if that’s the case, no boy will be hitting my daughter, and for no reason!" He took my hand and said we were going to the boy’s house, to make sure this will not happen again. I protested, "No, no, no, I don’t want to go!"
My dad said, "Then you better tell me what actually happened." So, I had to confess. Well, he marched me over there, and I had to apologize to him! That was the beginning, and the end, of my bullying. My dad was a gentle, kind, wise man.
— Learned My Lesson, Manitoba
Dear Learned: Good on your dad! If only bullying could be stopped that quickly every time. Dad had the good sense to insist on investigating, as every parent or teacher should. Having to apologize stopped your bullying for life.
I remember getting caught as one of three kids who stripped our principal’s crabapple trees bare, and we hid the apples in one boy’s garage. I left my wallet under the tree — evidence that solved the neighbourhood mystery. My dad (Sherlock) was the only parent to find out and make me apologize.
Here’s the worst part: The principal — Mrs. Moody — said, "Maureen, you could have asked me for some apples, and I would have given them to you."
Oh, the shame and remorse! I couldn’t steal anything from that time on. I was six and, as with your experience, the lesson lasted a lifetime. We had some wise fathers.
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.