Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Holding Out on Sex
Fantasy Relationship
Be Happy He's Gone

Holding Out on Sex

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have read your book and Iíve been visiting your website for years. Itís really great, level-headed advice and I appreciate it.

Iím a 28-year-old acupuncturist. I recently met, online, a guy I am actually attracted to (a rarity for me). Heís got so much going for him ≠ heís 29, a doctor, a sculptor, a cook, an athlete Ö not to mention his awesome body and obviously nimble mind. Itís too early to speak much to his character, but there is a certain poorly concealed cockiness. I know Iím interested in finding out more.

The strange thing is ≠ heís never had a serious relationship. He emphasizes that he is ready to meet a wife and settle down, but in the past he has gravitated towards impossible relationships (i.e., women who are married or live far away).

A few dates in, he pushed me farther than I wanted to go sexually. I made it clear where my limits were, but he blew right past them ≠ to the point where I couldnít stop him without ruining everything. I avoided actual sex, but just barely. Even though I am very much attracted to him, this struck some alarm bells.

After that, I'm concerned I might be losing my standing with him. I think about him all the time. It takes me fifteen minutes to craft a text message that sounds ďbreezyĒ. Iíve never been like this before and frankly I donít know what to do with myself!

Is it nuts to even pursue a relationship with this guy? If not Ö how do I establish myself as a prize to be won when (1) weíve already gotten so close to sex and (2) I am so into him already? Is this impossible or unadvisable? Does it sound to you like the damage has been done, or am I just over-analyzing?

I hope you get a chance to answer, but either way, thanks for all your sage advice!

Sincerely Worried

Dear Holdout,

You are a grownup, not a teenager. Holding out on sex when you really want it is silly at your age. You really can't expect a 29 year old guy to not push for sex. That's what guys do.

And if you're really serious about him, and think you might want to spend your life with him, you might as well have sex and find out if you're compatible sexually. After all, if the sex doesn't work out, you're wasting your time. If it does, well, you can keep on having more.

As for his cockiness, good grief, he's an artist, a doctor, a cook and an athlete. No wonder he's cocky. He's got it all. Except you. Now if you want to find out more and see if he's really for you, then have sex. Make it the best sex ever. Let him know that you never have sex this soon, but you find him irresistible.

Just because you have sex with a man doesn't mean that you're no longer a prize. The prize is having your heart and soul, not your body, although your body is part of it -- but not the main part.

Establish yourself as a prize by not giving him all of you right away. Don't be available whenever he wants. Don't call too often. Make him work to see you and don't let him think he's the only man who wants you.

You haven't done any damage yet, but you will if you keep withholding sex. With all he's got going for him, he's sure to find someone who will give him everything he wants and sex too.

You like him, you're smart, you know what you want. Go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Fantasy Relationship

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a married woman who had a brief affair with a man 10 years younger than myself. If that's not problem enough, the other man is an inmate in prison. I really believe that he loves me but authorities say he was probably scamming me. I am not able to contact him at this time. What should I do to find out the truth?

To make matters even worse than that, my husband is a great man. I know that I have disrespected him beyond words but I just couldn't help myself. We get along well enough but I'm finding more and more that he just isn't a proper partner for me. I am left to make every decision in the entire house. We have 4 children (3 live with us still- ages range from 17-25) and the older they get the more pressure I feel to be the end-all for everyone. Beside that, my elderly mother also lives with us and depends upon me for every decision she needs to make. The mounting pressures are killing me and if that's not enough I have a full time job, 2 part time jobs and go to school about 8 hours per week.

This is what led me to the other man. He is self-assured, knows what he wants and how to get it, can give me the desires and passion I require in a relationship and with him I can find a true partner in whom I could rely on to help with decisions instead of leaving everything in the world up to me to fix.

Please help, I'm really desperate.

Dear Desperate,

You aren't really in love with this inmate, you've turned a brief fling into an escapist fantasy. You fantasize that he would be the answer to all your problems and that you could escape into his arms and that he'd make everything okay. That's the furthest thing from the truth.

The truth is that if you ever did get close to him, he'd create more problems in your life than you can imagine. What makes you think that this man could help you with your life's decisions when his own decision-making has put him behind bars? It's a lucky thing you can't contact this guy in prison right now. Prisoners have nothing to do but to court women like you who are desperate for love and a way out of their lives. He'd just lead you further down the garden path, and that path leads to the trash dump. He'd wind up trashing your life just like he's trashed his own. Don't do anything to find out "the truth." At least wait until the con gets out and see how you feel then.

In the meantime concentrate on yourself, your job, your school, and maybe even your poor neglected husband. To reduce the pressure on yourself, consider telling some of your children or your mother, "I don't know. You'll have to figure that out for yourself." Just because someone presents a problem to you, doesn't mean you have to solve it. You are taking on everyone's problems and making them your own.

Give yourself a break. Don't carry a torch for a convict. If you're going to find someone other than your husband, find someone who isn't in jail, who has a job, a car, a house and a life.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Be Happy He's Gone

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My live-in boyfriend left right before christmas. It started in the bedroom again, he did not finish, rolled over again because I was frustrated, I told him to go to the sofa if he could not talk about things.

Two weeks previous, he went out for a cigarette and did not come back for two days. He had been drinking for a few days, and I had to stay at college to study. My daughter said he showed her a joint and said he smoked it every day and that she would grow up to be a bitch like me. He also puts down doctors and I am studying in the medical field.

Other times, this man was warm, tender, sweet, attentive, kind, protective and supportive.

Once we had seen each other for two weeks he immediately moved in. We were both scared and nervous and short on cash. He told me he paid rent at his other place and had no money left so I bought groceries for him which I could not really afford. I thought he was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with and vice versa. Several weeks later I received an irate phone call about my fiance not paying rent and that she had to clean up a bunch of used condoms and she was very angy. I never used condoms with him as we were planning to get married.

Then I talked with an old boyfriend and a week later my boyfriend/fiancee packed up his stuff and said we are not a couple. He phoned when he had no bus fare and I decided not to rescue him yet again. I told my doctor he has addiction issues and she smiled and told me to be firm with him to get help before he moves back.

I really miss him, I have never loved anyone so much and I have a feeling he will be back. Or have I just been duped. At least he doesn't hit me. What should I do? I have already tried to talk but it just seemed he was going to come around after he blew all his money (I think drugs and alcohol) and I did not enable this time and suggested he give me a call when he can take me out for a coffee to talk. PLease help. I don't want to be alone. Been alone too long, I am too cute and it sucks and I care about him? He was being a jerk and now I wish I never told him to get out in the heat of the moment.

Dear Lonely,

You're addicted to this man like someone addicted to a dangerous drug. You know he's bad for you and yet you keep taking him back and "using" him again.

He's not going to change. He's not going to become the perfect boyfriend/fiancee you want, and you're lucky he's out of your life.

Not to mention the bad example you're setting for your daughter. You don't want her to grow up thinking it's okay to want a man who calls you a bitch and smokes pot every day.

Be strong. Don't try to get him back again. Don't try to talk to him. It won't do any good. He'll just continue to use drugs, drink, not pay his bills and lie to you. Not to mention he was apparently cheating on you. Having a talk with him is like using drugs just a little bit. The only cure for you is cold turkey. That means no contact, no talk, nothing. Eventually, you'll get over him. Consider yourself lucky that you didn't get pregnant or catch a sexually transmitted disease from him. The other girl was smart enough to insist on condoms. You should have, too.

You say at least he doesn't hit you. Great. He does everything else to hurt you. Could that be next? Don't take a chance. You are cute and there will be a man who is clean and sober who will love you if you just forget about this jerk.

Sure you miss him. You'd miss cigarettes if you were a smoker and stopped smoking. You'd miss crack if you were an addict and quit. Or cocaine or any other drug. But that doesn't mean you should start using again.

Sometimes being alone is better than being with someone who's only going to hurt you over and over again. Don't take him back again. He won't change and you did the right thing telling him to get out.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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